One of the most surprising moves of the NBA offseason so far was when the Indiana Pacers traded star forward Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
George was linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers primarily, so the move by the Thunder was unexpected.
However, that surprising deal almost never materialized, as the Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets and Pacers had agreed in principle to a trade that would send PG-13 to Cleveland on June 30.
But, as ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst revealed, Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard got cold feet at the last second, backing out just as the deal was about to be finalized:
"On the afternoon of June 30, the sides thought they had a deal," Windhorst writes. "On a conference call between the teams, everyone tentatively agreed. George to the Cavs, Love to the Nuggets, [Gary] Harris and other pieces to the Pacers, sources said.
"Plans were put in place for a call to be arranged between George and Gilbert, an important step before the trade would become final, sources said. The front office began making other plans to complement George as free agency was about to begin.
"But then Pritchard, who had been on the conference call when the deal was tentatively agreed to, sent the message that his team was backing out, sources said. There was no deal."
Obviously, that was devastating for the Cavaliers to hear, as now Kyrie Irving is upset and has demanded a trade. Having PG-13 on the roster would help alleviate the pain of losing their star point guard, but it wasn't meant to be.
Now, George is in OKC and pairing up with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook while the Cavs try to figure out what their next step is.
One big focus will be trying to convince Irving to stay, as he is a popular player in the locker room. An anonymous Cavs player told Windhorst he really hopes the star point guard reconsiders:
"Sure, we've had our fair share of moments and kind of chaotic times, and that's obviously been well documented, but at the same time we've had a lot of joy," one Cavs player told ESPN. "I hope Kyrie is with us, that's all I got to say. At the end of the day, we're pretty f---ing good."
Indeed, with Irving and LeBron James on board, the Cavs have made the last three NBA Finals. Without him, they'd face a much tougher road this fall.News Now - Sport News