Jason Whitlock explains why Paul George isn’t as good as we thought

Chris Broussard and Kristine Leahy join Jason Whitlock and Jim Jackson to discuss the lack of productivity from Paul George and why he may not be as good as we thought.

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- Pacers fans might actually want to cheer, since the guy George was traded for, Victor Oladipo, is actually outplaying him this year. I can't believe I'm saying this. Because when they got rid of Paul George, I was like, oh my god, we got Victor Oladipo, and blah, blah. I thought Kevin Pritchard had made a mistake, and we had just traded him in a fire sale.

The Pacers have won the trade. Victor Oladipo was the number 2 pick for a reason. Somebody thought he was really good. And maybe he just wasn't in the right scenario in Orlando and in OKC.

I don't want to go too far. I don't want you all to laugh at me. But I see, like-- I don't want to go-- I'd be going too far-- a baby Dwayne Wade, a poor man's Dwayne Wade is what I'm looking at. And that's a hell of a get back for the Pacers for having to give up Paul George.

- Well, not bad scenario. Think about this though-- he was better in Orlando than he was in OKC. And I thought he kind of got caught up into Westbrook's shadow in OKC. I thought that he would be a really good complement coming in there, being able to beat you off the dribble to make plays.

But when you play with Russell Westbrook, as Paul George is finding out right now, when you need the ball in your hand, it's not going to work. Oladipo, right now, I love-- I-- I've had a chance to cover him since he was a freshman at Indiana. And I watched how hard he worked. I knew his game. And watching him perform right now for Indiana is just phenomenal.

Now, Indiana, to this point, has won the trade. OKC can still salvage something by trying to figure out how to get some value--

- By trading Paul again?

- Paul George. Seriously, I mean, that's--

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- You're not going to get much value.

- But I-- the closer you get to January and the trade deadline, it diminishes your return. But they should move him. Because they have to get something.

- I think he could end up in Cleveland. Because the only teams that are going to trade for him are, maybe, the Lakers, or a team that feels they can win it right now. Because there' no guarantee of keeping him.

- And that they can sign him.

- Exactly. And Cleveland, I think, is the move. That would be great for the league if he ends up there. But look, they've definitely won this trade. Oladipo is averaging more points, shooting better from the field, and better from three than Paul George ever has in his best season. Like, he may be as good as Paul George.

And don't forget, you got Sabonis-- 12 points, 8.5 rebounds a game. And all of your main guys are the same age, roughly. So they can grow together versus having George, who wants to win now, and then these young kids who aren't ready yet. So great move, I agree with you. I killed Pritchard at the time.

- This was Paul George's decision though, right? He knew that he wanted-- he was going to have to give up some points, give up some numbers to go play on a good team. So he thought he had that in Oklahoma City. And you can't blame it all on him. Isn't some of it Carmelo's fault?

- You don't they should trade George though?

- No, they probably should try to see what they should get. But I don't think we can say that Victor Oladipo is the-- is the winner or that the Pacers are the winner.

- I think-- I think OKC and Sam Presti-- they're smart-- have to figure out who they want to be. You're not going to be Golden State. You're not going to be Houston. You're not going to be San Antonio. I think they need to shape their team like Philly did.

- With Allen Iverson.

- With Allen Iverson. Odds You go find complementary guys that don't need the ball, that can play defense, that can rebound. Because I thought the-- the hardest transition was going to be Paul George, because he was still younger, that he wanted to be a superstar [INAUDIBLE].

- Have we ever considered that our narrative on Paul George is wrong, that, OK--

- I think he's a great complementary player.

- --Oladipo is better than we thought, but maybe, it's Paul George isn't as good as we thought?

- George is a star, he's not a superstar. Look at last year. When George was the man, they won 42 games. Right now, Oladipo is the man, and they're on pace to win 48. So that-- that plays into what you just said.

- But what part of the blame here goes to Carmelo? We're not talking about him at all.

- What do you mean?

- They all get blamed, Billy Donovan, Carmelo. You've got to play Westbrook a little. But Paul-- no, I-- I-- Paul George is just-- this isn't what he wanted. If he goes to the Lakers and it works out there, then maybe, one day, he'll be able to say I won the champ.

- Hold on, Christine, though. You don't think your opinion of Paul George hasn't been diminished just a little bit from what you thought he was? Mine has back up.

- It has a bit, but I don't think we're really seeing who he is. Because this isn't the team we thought was going to happen with the three of them together. I genuinely believed that they would all be able to put their egos aside, because they wanted to win and hadn't before, and not always need to have the ball in their hands. But that's not the case.

- I don't think it's ego. I just-- I just think it's system. And I think it's-- to me, Carmelo, at 15 years in the league, can kind of play a little bit to the back. Paul George still has something to prove. But the offense is not conducive.

- Right.

- The way Russell Westbrook plays is not conducive to another guy with the ball.

- Let me ask the same question I asked Christine.

- No.

- Your opinion--

- No.

- --of Paul George--

- No.

- --not a little bit--

- No, because the system is not conducive to how he play. Look at Oladipo. My-- my-- my look-- outlook-- on Oladipo didn't change when he was at OKC, because I knew he was playing in the system.

- Oh, you knew he could be this?

- No, I knew he could play.

- He could be what he is right-- he's an all-star.

- I thought-- I knew he could play at a high level.

- Did you guys think Paul George was a superstar?

- No.

- You thought he was a star.

- I thought he was a star. I always thought he was a star.

- I think he--

- I thought he would be a key component--

- A superstar?

- Something--

- A superstar--

- Something in between a star--

- --or a star?

- --and a superstar.

- What's in between? What's in between?

- A minus.

- What's in between? Somebody that shoots 45%.

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