Thunder asked for massive haul from Raptors in Paul George trade talks

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

One underrated development behind the scenes regarding the Paul George blockbuster trade to the Los Angeles Clippers is that the defending champion Toronto Raptors attempted to acquire him.

Toronto’s hope was that it could lure Kawhi Leonard in to re-signing with the team by adding George to the mix. It was not to be. Instead, both ended up joining the Clippers in their home town of Los Angeles.

Per this report from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star, the Oklahoma City Thunder demanded Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and four unprotected first-round picks for George.

If that is indeed the case, Toronto did well to avoid this deal. There was no guarantee in the first place that Leonard would re-sign if the Raptors landed George. Specifically, Siakam is one of the game’s best youngsters. That made a move of this ilk pretty darn risky.

In the end, Los Angeles landed George for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari five first-round picks (four unprotected) and two pick swaps.