Paul George was finally publicly introduced as a member of the LA Clippers on Wednesday, and before he took questions from the media he thanks the Thunder organization and Oklahoma City for the two years he spent there.
He also explained that leaving the Thunder when he did was a mutual decision made by him and the team. Thunder general manager Sam Presti begs to differ.
"Let me first start off by saying I think the world of PG. I think everybody knows that," Presti told reporters. "I know that he had used the term 'mutual.'
"I wouldn't necessarily agree with that because that would infer that we were wanting to trade Paul George, which I think most people would agree that that probably wasn't on the top of our offseason priority list.
"But I would say that it was not adversarial at all and I also fully respect the way that it was handled. And the fact that we were able to make it work in a way that benefited the franchise made it something that we could do."
The Thunder got a huge haul from the Clippers in return for PG13. They were able to secure point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026. They also received two first-round picks from Miami in 2021 and 2023 and obtained the right to swap first-round picks in 2023 and 2025.
It's a record amount of draft picks received by one team in a trade.
George signed a four-year, $137 million contract in the summer of 2018. He's coming off the best season of his career after averaging 28.0 points and 8.2 rebounds and led the league with 2.2 steals.