Western Conference Arms Race Continues as Oklahoma City Acquires Paul George

To say the Eastern Conference and Western Conference are extremely polarized would be an understatement. The Western Conference has been undisputedly the best conference NBA for the past few years. Now, however, with recent trades and acquisitions, the disparity between the two conferences has reached a whole other level.

As of last night, Paul George is officially part of the Oklahoma City Thunder. This came about via a trade that sent Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indiana in exchange for George.

https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/881153195359318016/video/1

It was reported that the Boston Celtics offered two starters, including Jae Crowder, along with three draft picks in next year’s draft in hopes of acquiring George; one of these picks was the Brooklyn nets unprotected pick that will likely be a lottery pick.

The Indiana Pacers declined this deal and went on to Trade George for what seemed to be a lot less. They acquired two young talents that are good, but not great. The Thunder would have acquired the exact same assets by trading George to the Celtics while also getting three more draft picks in this year’s upcoming draft.

cdn-s3.si.com

Either way, the Pacers unloaded George and got something in return which was their goal. If they were unable to work something out before this upcoming season, George would walk away once his contract was up and Indiana would not get anything for him in return. It just seems like they could have gotten a lot more for a star as talented as George.

With George officially on the Oklahoma City Thunder roster, this elevated them to a Western Conference contender. While this may not be a short-term path to success, it gives the Thunder two top-10 players in Westbrook and George to build around. Adding one more all-star would make the Thunder a contender for the championship every single year.

Welcome to the Western Conference, Paul George.

A post shared by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on

From a macro perspective in the NBA, this further separates the conferences. The Western Conference is now a hotbed of really talented teams. Just two days ago the Houston Rockets added Chris Paul to play alongside former MVP candidate James Harden.

This adds two very solid teams to the Western Conference alongside San Antonio and Golden State.

This will change a lot going forward. Not only on the court, but also during this offseason.

First of all, it will limit Golden States dominance in the Western Conference. There is no doubt they are still the overwhelming favorite to come out of the west. With the recent acquisitions made, however, it will make that path much more difficult for them; especially in comparison to the Eastern Conference.

Lastly and most importantly, this changes the entire market for any other marquee players being shopped around or in free agency such as Carmelo Anthony and Gordon Hayward.

For players sitting in this situation right now, the easiest path to an NBA finals appearance is signing with a team like the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. There is just so much competition in the Western Conference that the Eastern Conference may be an appealing option to players who have played late in the NBA playoffs such as ‘Melo or Hayward.

Regardless of what does happen, the NBA will look very different this upcoming season.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Andrew McCutchen Traded To San Francisco Giants

    Monday morning, the Pittsburgh Pirates was traded Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitcher Kyle Crick, outfielder Bryan Reynolds and international bonus pool money. "It's no secret that we were looking to further add run production to our lineup," said Brian Sabean, Giants executive vice president of baseball operations. "Anytime you...

    Read More
  • Minnesota Advances To NFC Championship In Crazy Finish

    Just when we thought playoff football could not get any better, it did. Last night, the Minnesota Vikings topped the New Orleans Saints 29-24 as time expired and became the first team in NFL history to win in walk-off fashion in a postseason game. This was probably the closest thing that football will have to...

    Read More
  • New York Giants Narrow Head Coach Search To Three Candidates

    Following the firing of Ben McAdoo in the latter parts of the season, the New York Giants have narrowed down their search to three potential candidates: Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Pat Shurmur. As of now, the three have a very equal shot at filling the vacancy. Both Patricia and McDaniels are apart of the...

    Read More
  • Billboard Congrats Alabama, And Asks Them To Play UCF

    The feud is still going strong. Even after the Alabama Crimson Tide won the national championship Monday night, UCF still is making their point known that they deserve to have the right to compete for that. Following the championship, UCF fans bought a billboard where they asked Alabama for a home and home series down...

    Read More
  • Highlights From LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball’s First Professional Game

    LaMelo Ball became the youngest American basketball player to ever play in a professional game. Alongside him playing for Vytautas, a professional basketball team in Lithuania, was his older brother LiAngelo Ball. Liangelo, who started the season playing for the UCLA Bruins, decided to drop out of college and seek alternative options following his suspension...

    Read More
  • The Untold Story Behind An Unforgettable National Championship

    Last night canvassed one of the best national championships in recent memory as the Alabama Crimson Tide topped the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23. This game was really a tale of two halves. The first half was back and forth, but not very entertaining. Both teams traded possessions time and time again, but Georgia took advantage of...

    Read More