Could Warriors target Paul George in free agency next summer?

On the surface, it seems absolutely ridiculous. The defending champion Golden State Warriors already have one of the most-talented rosters in NBA history. They boast one of the top-five small forwards in the history of the game (Kevin Durant).

So, why would Golden State even consider attempting to sign All-Star forward Paul George next summer?

According to┬áTim Kawakami of The Athletic, it’s a real possibility.

“Marcus (Thompson) and I have teased this for more than a year. We think they’re going to go after Paul George somehow. I think (Warriors owner) Joe Lacob is going to try to find a way to get Paul George,” Kawakami noted (h/t CBS Sports). “I don’t know how that would happen, but I didn’t know how it was going to happen three years ago when they said they were go after Durant. Well, they didn’t say it. But they might have whispered it.”

This seems absolutely unreasonable and unnecessary. Golden State is already going to be paying a huge luxury tax to keep its core together over the foreseeable future. That could include a total $1.2 billion payroll over the next four seasons.

On the other hand, Golden State’s ultimate goal has been to sustain this success over the long term. It’s why the team gave Stephen Curry what was then the richest contract in NBA history shortly after Lacob and Co. hoisted their second title in three years. It’s also why Kevin Durant will likely ink a huge deal himself next summer.

Now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, George will hit free agency along with new teammate Russell Westbrook next summer.

And while his preference is reportedly to play for his hometown Lakers, there’s a scenario in play that could entice George to Northern California. That scenario includes an opportunity at multiple championships, playing on a growing Bay Area market and suiting up in a yet-to-be erected state-of-the-art waterfront arena in San Francisco.

As Kawakami notes, there’s no realistic scenario in play that suggests the Warriors can afford George. If the team were to make a play for him, it would have to include moving both Klay Thompson and the recently re-signed Andre Iguodala in salary dumps. Is George worth that price? We’re not entirely too sure.

But it’s still an interesting thing to keep an eye on.