One of the biggest NBA trade rumors over the past several months concerned whether Paul George would be traded to a major NBA contender. These included the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, or Los Angeles Lakers. There was also a possible trade involving Paul George being sent to the Golden State Warriors. In exchange, Golden State would have sent sharpshooter Klay Thompson to the Indiana Pacers. That would have made the level of star power on the Warriors even greater and probably would have turned them into perennial favorites to win the championship for years to come. However, the new Oklahoma City Thunder star believes such a deal would have been denied by the NBA, according to a recent interview.
According to Bleacher Report, Paul George talked to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski about being aware of the possible deal which would have sent him to the Golden State Warriors. Indiana would have received an All-Star in return, with perhaps the league’s best overall shooter, Klay Thompson, joining their roster. It’s unknown what other players or assets were involved in the trade talks. George admitted to knowing of the possibility, but he felt it might be like “a Chris Paul to L.A. situation where they got denied at that trade.”
George added that despite the fact that the Golden State and Indiana deal didn’t work out in his favor, he’s still happy with where he ended up.
“Yeah, I was aware of it. 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.”
The Chris Paul situation that George referred to came in 2011 when the former-New Orleans Hornets had tried to orchestrate a three-team deal involving the Houston Rockets and L.A. Lakers. It would have sent point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers to join All-Star Kobe Bryant, but the league ultimately nixed the deal. It was believed the league did so to prevent the Lakers from having too much star power, which is similar to the reason George is suggesting the league might have denied him being sent to the Warriors.
A Golden State Warriors team that featured Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Paul George, would probably have become the next major dynasty in the league. However, it seems at some point the NBA may have to say “enough is enough” when it comes to the construction of “super teams” in the league. The idea of the “Big Three” became commonplace in the league after the Boston Celtics aligned Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett with Paul Pierce. More teams of this nature continued to be formed in the years to come until Golden State ultimately “one-upped” everyone with their fearsome foursome.
Ahead of the 2016-17 NBA season, Golden State had two of the top three players in the league, per ESPN‘s NBA rankings. Adding Paul George would have given them three of the top 10 best players in the NBA, and four of the top 15, making a super team that would topple most competition. So while the Paul George trade to Golden State may have been fun for Warriors fans, it certainly wouldn’t have been fun for the spirit of competition, or for fans wanting to see other teams have a chance of defeating “Dubnation.”
That said, there’s still NBA rumors that Paul George wants to leave Oklahoma City after one season to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Making those rumors even more interesting is the fact that “The King” himself, LeBron James, may also leave for Los Angeles to join the newly drafted Lonzo Ball. While Ball isn’t yet ranked amongst the NBA’s elite players, that could certainly become another potent lineup with James and George joining forces with one of the league’s next possible superstars.
NBA fans, do you think the league denying a Paul George trade to the Warriors would have been fair?
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