The L.A. Clippers have acquired six-time NBA All-Star Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and the Clippers’ first round draft picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, along with two first-round choices via Miami (2021 and 2023), and OKC obtained the right to swap first-round picks in 2023 and 2025, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank.
“Paul George is one of the greatest two-way players in our game,” said Frank. “He is both an elite scorer and a relentless defender whose versatility elevates any team. When you have the opportunity to acquire a contributor of his caliber, you do what it takes to bring him home. Paul is a native of the Los Angeles area and an ideal fit for the Clippers, thanks to his selflessness and drive. Following the lead of Steve Ballmer, we have plotted an aggressive course to build a championship contender, and acquiring Paul is a critical step.”
George averaged career highs with 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals over 77 games during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 4.0 deflections per game and recovered 2.7 loose balls per game, tied for third and fourth in the league, respectively. George holds a 101.59 career defensive rating, which ranks fourth among all active players.
Originally selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, George has appeared in 604 career games, averaging 19.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists with the Thunder and Indiana Pacers. George, 29, has been named to the All-Defensive Team four times and was the 2013 Most Improved Player.
George spent two collegiate seasons at Fresno State, averaging 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists over 63 games.
“We can’t say enough to thank Gallo and Shai for the contributions they made to our organization,” said Frank. “Both of these guys are true professionals in their approach to the game and the amount of work they put in. Gallo and Shai set a standard as teammates and we wish them the best of luck moving forward.”
Gallinari averaged 19.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 68 games for the Clippers last season. Since arriving in the NBA from Italy, he has posted career averages of 15.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 549 games with the Clippers, Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. Originally the 6th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the 6’10” forward has been playing professionally since 2004 and was the Italian League MVP in 2008.
Gilgeous-Alexander, the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, averaged 10.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds over 82 games in his rookie campaign for the Clippers. The Hamilton, Ontario native earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2018-19. Gilgeous-Alexander spent one collegiate season at Kentucky where he averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds over 37 games, earning Second-Team All-SEC honors.