Of all teams rumored to pretty much rent Paul George from the Indiana Pacers for a year before he moves on to Los Angeles, the entire NBA was caught off-guard by Friday night's news right as the NBA Free Agency period began. The Oklahoma City Thunder came out of nowhere to land the star in a trade that saw Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and a first-round draft pick go to Indiana. The 27-year-old has been said to be on the move after stating he was leaving the Pacers for the Lakers after next season, when he becomes a free agent. George is from Southern California, but the Lakers were never really a threat to acquire him early on. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Houston Rockets seemed to be the front-runners before OKC jumped to the front of the line. George will now team up with NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, and some believe that combination may keep both George and Westbrook with the Thunder long-term. The point guard is also set to become a free agent after next season and there is no doubt that the Thunder would not want to lose him. This move may be the first step in the process of keeping the Thunder a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.
Curry, Griffin Agree to Big Deals Out West
Stephen Curry made history on Friday night without even being a free agent as he received the richest contract in NBA history from the Golden State Warriors. The contract is worth $201 million over five years, as he becomes the first player to sign a supermax deal, which is a contract that exceeds $200 million. The contract will not be finalized until Thursday. The former MVP had been playing on a four-year, $44 million deal, while leading Golden State to two titles in three seasons. The sharp-shooter is an eight-year veteran after getting drafted seventh overall out of Davidson in 2009. The 29-year-old holds career averages of 22.8 points, 6.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. He also has plenty of success from beyond the arc, as he has led the league in three pointers five straight seasons, and his career total of 1,917 ranks 10th all-time. Meanwhile, after the Los Angeles Clippers lost Chris Paul in a trade to the Rockets, it was almost a forgone conclusion that Blake Griffin would be on the move after opting out of his deal. Instead, the high-flyer agreed to a five-year, $173 million contract to stay in Hollywood after meeting with owner Steve Ballmer. That meeting reportedly included players Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan, Sam Dekker, Wesley Johnson, and Patrick Beverley. Those guys convinced Griffin to stick around, keeping the Clippers relevant in the new-look West. He reportedly had meetings with the Suns and Nuggets scheduled this weekend after free agency started, but he canceled those quickly. The former Slam Dunk champion is still recovering from a toe injury suffered in Game 3 of their playoff series with the Utah Jazz. Once he does heal up, he will now be the leader of this team, but it is not yet known if the Clippers will add any more players around him.
Braves' Foltynewicz Loses No-Hit Bid in Ninth
Mike Foltynewicz had to wait a little longer than usual between the eighth and ninth innings due to his teams giving him some insurance, but that wait could've messed up his groove in his no-hit bid. Foltynewicz lost his no-hitter in the toughest of ways, surrendering a leadoff home run to Matt Olson in the ninth, but the Atlanta Braves still hung on for a 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics. The right-hander struck out eight and walked four to out-pitch Sonny Gray and pitch into the ninth inning for the first time this season. He did earn his sixth victory, but was looking for the second no-hitter in the majors this season, and the first for the Braves since Kent Mercker did it in April of 1994. The former 2010 draft pick threw 119 pitches before getting pulled after the long ball. The lone no-hitter this season remains with Edison Volquez of the Miami Marlins, who did it on June 3rd against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves and A's continue their series with matinee mathcups Saturday and Sunday.