Fantasy Slant: Thunder Acquire Paul George from the Pacers

By Vincent Frank on Sunday, July 2nd 2017
Fantasy Slant: Thunder Acquire Paul George from the Pacers

Reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook has a new running partner. As free agency got going Saturday morning, the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired All-Star forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. 

It was a small price to pay for the Thunder to return to relevance in the Western Conference. It also gives Russ a solid No. 2 option one year after Kevin Durant left OKC for the now defending champion Golden State Warriors. 

From a fantasy perspective, there's a whole heck of a lot to look at here. 

Without even a No. 2 option on Indiana last season, George averaged a career-best 23.7 points per game while taking an average of 18 shot attempts per outing. To put this into perspective, Jeff Teague ranked second on the team with 11.1 shot attempts per outing. 

Now heading to a Thunder team that saw no one outside of Russ average as much as 14 shots per game, we can expect George's usage rate to remain somewhat the same. 

Though, with Westbrook now acting as his point guard, George should see a ton more open shots. Last season saw the five-time All-Star shoot at a tremendous 58 percent clip on uncontested two-pointers. If he keeps at that clip, we can expect more than 23.7 points per outing. 

As it relates to Westbrook himself, this doesn't change a whole lot. He was a fantasy dynamo last season, averaging a triple-double. Maybe Westbrook's point total will drop 31.6 last season, but it won't be by too much. 

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