NBA insider reveals reason Paul George trade to Golden State Warriors fell apart

Golden State Warriors, Paul George
Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Hours before Paul George decided to opt out of his $48.8 million contract for next season, the Golden State Warriors were working on a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. Golden State hoped to execute a sign-and-trade for PG-13, where they’d immediately sign him to a long-term extension, likely as a max-level contract, one that the Clippers weren’t willing to offer.

Yet, now that George has officially opted out of his contract, the dream of the Warriors adding the nine-time All-Star is dead. This came after the Warriors had believed at multiple different points that they’d end up with George this summer. Obviously, that’s no longer the case. But what really happened during trade negotiations between the Clippers and Warriors?

According to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, the Warriors offered various combinations of Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and a first-round pick (this was not the offer, but merely the assets that were involved during negotiations). Yet, Kawakami notes that the Warriors never offered a package that included both Wiggins and Kuminga in the same deal.

George even reportedly gave “strong indications” that he wanted to join the Warriors alongside Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. Yet, ultimately, the Clippers were concerned about the financial aspect of things.

“The financial concerns of a deal were a major factor for the Clippers as they will get out from the second apron and have more roster maneuverability if he walks as a free agent.”

Golden State Warriors insider Tim Kawakami on why Paul George trade fell apart

Now that George’s $48 million is off the books next season, the Clippers will have more roster flexibility, but they also won’t be able to recover any additional trade assets that could have been recuperated from Golden State, or another team. Yet, Los Angeles seems to prefer this route over extra assets.

Without George, now the Clippers are expected to pursue other star talents, but the current NBA free agency class may limit their options.

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