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Twitter Erupts as Paul George Is Traded to Oklahoma City Thunder

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 23: Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 23, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 106-102 to sweep the series 4-0. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder stunned the Association on Friday night when they reportedly acquired Paul George from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, per ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne and USA Today's Sam Amick.        

Just hours before the start of the free-agency moratorium period at 12:01 a.m. ET, the news shook the NBA landscape and provoked observers all over Twitter to comment on the blockbuster. 

ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst provided some background on why Indiana didn't net a huge haul in return, with an eye on the summer of 2018: 

Brian Windhorst @WindhorstESPN

What OKC gave up for George (no picks) an indication of weakness of offers to Indiana. And how afraid teams are that PG will walk next year

There was also an outpouring of reaction from NBA players, including thoughts from Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert: 

Joel Embiid @JoelEmbiid

Playoffs spots are opening up hehehehe #TheProcess

Rudy Gobert @rudygobert27

Allright can we just fusion the east and the west, it's gettin too unbalanced lol

Rudy Gay @RudyGay

👀

Jeremy Lin @JLin7

Whoaa this about to get wild real quick #nba

Patrick Beverley @patbev21

The west is sick!!!! Best conference in the world!!!!

Myl3s Turn3r @Original_Turner

*Takes a well deserved nap for 3 hours ** Opens Twitter: https://t.co/xWNYaVfKTy

Aside from the sudden imbalance of power, the other big takeaway from OKC's out-of-nowhere maneuver was just how well general manager Sam Presti did to snag George without giving away coveted assets: 

Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA

This is some rabbit-out-of-a-hat stuff from Presti. Holy crap.

David Aldridge @daldridgetnt

Very little surprises me after all these years. This is an absolute shocker. Paul George for Oladipo and Sabonis? No disrespect, but...wow.

Royce Young @royceyoung

So Presti turned Serge Ibaka into Jerami Grant and Paul George. Not bad.

There was also an intense focus on the Boston Celtics, who pursued George, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, but evidently couldn't best the Thunder's offer. 

As a result, there was an outpouring of jokes at the expense of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge: 

Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA

“So…Paul isn’t coming” https://t.co/I0ALo67tdU

FearTheSword @FearTheSword

Isaiah Thomas just followed a future first round pick on instagram

Negative Dunks @negativedunks

DANNY AINGE TRADED THE NUMBER ONE PICK AND LET THE THUNDER TRADE ONE STARTER AND ONE ROTATION PLAYER FOR A TOP 15 PLAYER. GO HOME DUDE.

Here's a look at the best of the rest: 

Rodger Sherman @rodger_sherman

Checks out https://t.co/Zx0uKDkbDr

de bleck penta @fivefifths

Tobias Harris is gonna be an East all star now 😂

Jason McIntyre @jasonrmcintyre

EXCLUSIVE: Magic Johnson reaction when Kevin Pritchard called for final offer, "or he goes to OKC" https://t.co/4dZ0xE9RiH

City of OKC @cityofokc

https://t.co/kBEqc6c61p

Oklahoma City Police @OKCPD

Thanks for the tweets reporting the "theft" of Paul George by @okcthunder. Our investigative findings: totally legal & very savvy.

Now armed with a pair of All-Stars in George and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder will set their sights on the Western Conference's elite next season. 

The question, though, is whether that tandem will mesh to such a degree that Westbrook can convince George to stay in OKC instead of bolting for the Los Angeles Lakers—long considered his preferred landing spot—in the summer of 2018. 

If nothing else, that subtext should make for a fascinating 2017-18 campaign as the NBA continues to operate as the best soap opera around. 

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