Paul George will be teaming with Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder this year in a season that suddenly has plenty of potential in the Sooner State.
But there was at least a small chance he could have instead been grouped with the super team that broke up the previous era of promising Thunder basketball.
When the Indiana Pacers were put in the position they were put in by George this offseason, it’s smart for them to make every call around the league and send out feelers for every player they covet.
Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers apparently did just that.
According to a report, George was offered up to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors in a deal that they hoped would net them All-Star Klay Thompson. They proposal was turned down and PG-13 was later dealt to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
In an ESPN podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, George discussed super teams and Woj offered up a question about the proposal.
“Were you aware that conversation happened and could you have imagined the reaction to the league if somehow you ended up on that Warriors team?” Woj asked.
“Yeah, I think that would’ve been the Chris Paul-to-LA situation,” George responded, referencing the proposed trade of Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Lakers that the league turned down in 2011.
“I was aware of it. I would’ve looked forward to it, of just being in a good situation and a chance to compete for a championship, but it didn’t happen. It’s still fun to team up with a special talent and have a chance to compete against that team.”
Woj later clarified on Twitter that there was no evidence Golden State considered the offer, which they turned down.
If that deal somehow went through, George would’ve been playing with superstars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, but also Kevin Durant, Westbrook’s former teammate who left OKC in free agency to join the Warriors last summer.
With George’s impending free agency, along with rumors that he’s likely to join the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, the Warriors apparently decided Thompson, who might be the best shooter in the NBA, was more valuable than the perennial All-Star.
Although the players are both 27 years old, Thompson has two years left on a deal that will pay him more than $36 million.
Then there’s the horrific leg injury George suffered a few years back that sidelined him for most of the 2014-15 season.
But it’s fun to think about what could have been in this situation.