George reveals trade to Warriors was ‘close to being done'

George reveals trade to Warriors was ‘close to being done’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Paul George now is a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, but he was close to joining the Warriors.

The nine-time NBA All-Star addressed the Warriors trade talks on the latest episode of “Podcast P with Paul George.”

“That was a real thing that was close to being done,” George said (h/t Bleacher Report). “That deal was close to being done from what I was being told on the situation, they was expressing just how much they wanted me there, how I could have fit in perfectly with Draymond [Green], Steph [Curry]. [Brandin] Podziemski. [Jonathan] Kuminga, [Andrew] Wiggins. They didn’t know how or what package was going to be there to trade for me.

“[Kevon] Looney was going to be there and so it was very intriguing and it was still an opportunity to stay close to home, stay on the West Coast, and it was a win-win. I think Steph is a unicorn, one of one player, and [Joel Embiid’s] a unicorn …So it was kind of like a good situation to be in the middle of, but ultimately the deal didn’t go through. I think Clippers didn’t want a certain trade deal that Warriors were willing to give and yeah, it just didn’t happen but it was close.”

The Warriors pushed to acquire George to make him the third superstar alongside Curry and Green, but in order for that to happen, they needed the 34-year-old forward to opt into his $48.8 million player option, providing a pathway for the Los Angeles Clippers to sign-and-trade him to the Warriors.

But once trade talks between the Warriors and Clippers broke down — reportedly because Golden State didn’t want to include Kuminga in the deal — George declined his player option to become a free agent.

At that point, the Warriors didn’t have the cap space to sign George outright. They needed a sign-and-trade with the Clippers to make the money work.

The 76ers had the required cap space and signed George to a four-year, $212 million contract, giving Embiid and Tyrese Maxey the third star they need to compete for the Eastern Conference title.

George, a Los Angeles native, admitted that he would have enjoyed playing for the Warriors, especially because of the location.

“It’d been dope, man,” George said. “I was looking forward to it, if it happened. I would have been a lot closer. I’d have been a lot closer. I still probably would have lived in LA.”

The Warriors missed out on George and ultimately lost franchise icon Klay Thompson to the Dallas Mavericks in free agency. Golden State pivoted by signing De’Anthony Melton and acquiring guard Buddy Hield and forward Kyle Anderson in sign-and-trade deals.

George’s latest comments leave Dub Nation wondering what could have been.

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