The Golden State Warriors couldn’t possibly be in talks with the Indiana Pacers about a Paul George trade, right?
After all, last offseason they signed Kevin Durant to create a superteam that rolled through the playoffs and dominated the 2017 NBA Finals. They couldn’t possibly be considering another upgrade, right?
Well, the Warriors have reportedly at least discussed the idea of making a trade for George, per Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, who notes Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard immediately went to work attempting to pit the Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Pritchard, league sources said, immediately tried to create a bidding war between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers by intimating to both teams that the other was interested in George. Several league executives questioned why George would change his mind about going to L.A. to stay long term in Cleveland, assuming that his desire to leave Indianapolis had to do with climate and geography, along with recent rumors that LeBron James could bolt for L.A. next summer.”
Now, it’s important to distinguish between discussing a trade in theory and seriously getting down to brass tacks. Fielding a phone call from Pritchard and toying with the idea is vastly different than going to work on a serious deal.
Obviously, it would be an unbelievable turn of events if the Warriors really did get serious about adding George to their already potent roster. And no doubt, they’d have to give up something big in return, if such a deal really ever did materialize.
Though, if that were the case and the Warriors were interested in pursuing a trade, there is a player who might be viewed as expendable, given the potential gain of adding George. Klay Thompson, who still has two years left on his current deal ($17.8 million next season; just under $19 million in 2018-19), is almost an equal in terms of contract value to George (set to make $19.5 million next season).
And it’s not like Thompson is vastly inferior on the court, either. Plus, unlike the Cavaliers, the Warriors have future first-round picks they could offer in a deal.
So, if the Warriors really were serious about adding George to their roster for a one-year rental with the hope of convincing him to stay and join the dynasty, there is a way to make it happen.
Let that sink in for a minute.