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Paul George Trade Rumors

By Jeff Stinger

Reports say that the New York Knicks are interested in acquiring Paul George in a trade. This week, the Knicks and the Clippers opened discussions about a possible deal for the 33-year-old. However, other sources say that trade discussions stated nothing was going for George and the agreement will fall out in its early stages. With that, we dive into the possible scenarios for the eight-time NBA All-Star and what the future holds for him moving forward.

Delving Into Paul George Trade Rumors

Paul George in Recent Years

The prospective deal between the Knicks and the Clippers collapsed when the latter became hesitant about trading for George after in-depth discussions including the franchise foreseeing the former Pacers star asking for a contract extension. George is eligible to bag a four-year contract extension of $220 million.

However, the caveat here is if he fails to secure a new deal next season, he could decline his player option before the 2024-25 NBA season and join the free agent list. As it stands, the two-time All-Defensive First Team stands to receive $45.6 million in the coming season and $48 million in 2024-25, if he goes with his player option.

Even with his consistent injury woes, George’s association with trade talks contradicts what the Clippers management announced at the end of the 2022-23 campaign. Clippers president of basketball operations, Lawrence Frank, referred to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard as a duo he would like to keep in the franchise for a long time.

George averaged 47 appearances in his last three seasons and sat out the Clippers’ postseason campaign following a knee strain in March. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and shot 43.7% shooting from the floor last season. Although he was voted to earn his eighth All-Star introduction, his partnership with Kawhi Leonard struggled to bloom in Los Angeles.

A Range of Scenarios for the Forward

Any suitor needs to deal with the question of how much are they willing to commit long-term to the veteran forward. He is undoubtedly a prominent two-way wing, but injury concerns can make him a liability when his presence matters most. A handful of league insiders expressed doubts about what return value teams get for him.

The Portland Trail Blazers are another team that could pursue George, but the team’s front office decided not to pursue him. This opens up several narratives about his future in the NBA.

Since the Blazers deal is out of the picture, a move to the Hawks for Dejounte Murray springs to mind. Of course, this deal is only possible if Atlanta sweetens the deal with picks and players. While no indications link the Hawks and the Clippers, rumors involving Murray surfaced.

If the Knicks decide to keep the chase going, they have to find pieces to complement Jalen Brunson. This leads to talks featuring a swap for Julius Randle. As impressive as the Knicks’ season last year with Jalen Brunson at the helm, it became apparent that Randle’s playing style contradicts several areas of the system. Moreover, since George earns almost double what Randle does, the Knicks have to throw in other players to make up for the difference. Evan Fournier is a solid candidate for the proposal to get underway.

Ultimately, George can upgrade the defensive measures of basically any team in the league. If any team is willing to gamble their pieces for a player that can potentially improve playoff chances, the veteran forward could do just that given that he stays healthy.

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