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The Golden State Warriors struck gold last year by signing former league MVP Kevin Durant. With the addition of Durant, they were in talks of adding another superstar into the mix. Why didn’t it happen?
According to Alec Nathan of Bleacher Report, Paul George was well aware the Indiana Pacers had discussed a trade with the Golden State Warriors before he was later dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Per Bleacher Report:
Paul George told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday he was aware the Indiana Pacers discussed a trade that would have sent him to the Golden State Warriors before he was ultimately dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
George believed that the league would’ve vetoed the trade just like they did with the Chris Paul trade. In 2011, former NBA executive David Stern and majority of the league owners vetoed a trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers because the amount of talent the team would’ve had on their roster. The competition was going to be a cake walk with Paul, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.
In addition, George said he wouldn’t have minded if the Pacers traded him to the Warriors because he would’ve enjoyed himself on a team full of superstars:
I would’ve looked forward to it, of just being in a good situation and a chance to compete for a championship. But it didn’t happen. It’s still fun to team up with a special talent and have a chance to compete against that team.”
According to Andy Katz of ESPN, Indiana asked for Klay Thompson in return for George, but the Warriors backed away from the deal.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 13, 2017
Instead, the Thunder swooped in and traded George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
A Paul George-to-the-Warriors trade certainly would’ve blown up the league, but both George and Klay Thompson are all-star players and would’ve been a win-win situation for both teams.
The Golden State Warriors are getting a mouth full of bad words from fans of the NBA because they changed the league by making themselves almost unstoppable to beat in the playoffs. The signing of Kevin Durant was the nail in the coffin for the competitiveness in the league. However, trading for George would have caused a riot amongst the league.
Paul George averaged 23.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 6.6 rebounds, posting a 20.30 PER and 27.2 usage rate last season.