Kevin Pritchard on trading Paul George: ‘It was difficult both on a personal and professional level’

The Pacers officially announced the Paul George trade on Thursday, which brings guard Victor Oladipo and forward Domantas Sabonis to Indianapolis from Oklahoma City.

“It was difficult both on a personal and professional level,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard.

“Everyone here knows what Paul meant to this franchise; he was both a tremendous human being as well as player here for seven years. We thank Paul and his family for their contributions to the Pacers and wish him well.”

Last week after the trade was agreed upon, Paul George thanked Indianapolis in an Instagram post.

“I can go on and on with pics and comments but INDIANA.. THANK YOU for all that you’ve been for my family and I! I’ve met and worked with some of the most unbelievable human beings I think I will ever meet! You all know who you are.. Indy you’ll be in great hands with the future! Love you all.”

[Ex-teammates react to Paul George being dealt to Oklahoma City]

Oladipo, the second overall pick in 2013, and Sabonis, the 11th pick in 2016, will be introduced at a press conference on Friday.

“We feel very strongly about the potential Victor and Domantas bring to our team and what they mean for the future of the franchise,” Pritchard said. “Both are highly competitive, highly skilled and both are winners. That is why both were lottery picks, that is why we sought them out to be part of this deal.”

Oladipo was in Orlando over the weekend, seated beside the Pacers’ bench at summer league.

Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti on Paul George:

“We are excited to welcome Paul George to the Thunder family and the Oklahoma City community. Paul is a tremendous fit for our organization on and off the floor. He represents all the positive traits of an elite competitor, and we have long admired his relentless pursuit to improve and his ability to impact on-court success. His skill set is dynamic and at the forefront of the evolution of the game, yet he combines this with traditional and historical values and will. We are fortunate to have an incredibly unique player wear the Thunder Blue and know he will help us as we continue to build the legacy of the Thunder in real time.”

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