After Kawhi Leonard made his landmark decision to join the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency, the landscape of the NBA had changed forever. Minutes later, a trade for Paul George was announced.
While both moves stunned the NBA world, it was the George trade that felt more confusing. After all, George signed a four-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and cited his desire to win with Russell Westbrook just last offseason.
Jackie McMullan's most recent article for ESPN discusses a new NBA landscape in which player autonomy is at an all-time high and how coaches and teams are adjusting. She discusses George's trade request in detail, which is even more looney than we initially thought.
"After George requested his trade from the Thunder -- and pushed to have it consummated within 48 hours -- Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti lamented the ability of players under contract to talk with and recruit one another without penalty."
Funny how some reports suggested it was a mutual parting of ways and now this is coming out. No wonder Presti came out and said that wasn't exactly the case.
While we're not bashing a player's right to choose where he wants to play, doing so a year after signing a long-term contract and demanding it be done within 48 hours feels like it's a tad over the top.