Paul George Trade Roundup: Kawhi, Davis, Trade Request, Durant

In a shocking move early Saturday morning, the Thunder agreed to trade one of their two superstars, Paul George, to the Clippers. The move facilitated the Clippers pairing George with Kawhi Leonard, who agreed to a four-year pact with the organization earlier in the morning.

The landscape of the league has been altered with the Clippers and their crosscourt rival Lakers expected to dominate headlines this forthcoming season. The process that led to the Clippers becoming one of the NBA’s powerhouses included a lot of moving parts, a lot of communication and a heavily involved Leonard.

Before George to L.A. became a possibility, Leonard had reached out to Kevin Durant about the possibility of the duo teaming up with the Clippers, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Leonard told Durant he “admired him, and had tremendous respect for him as a competitor,” according to Shelburne. While Durant appreciated the recruitment from Leonard, he was already set on pairing with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan in Brooklyn.

Therefore, the process moved on and Leonard set his sights on pairing with another superstar: Paul George.

Here are some more tidbits on George being traded to the Clippers:

  • In Shelburne’s report, she noted that Leonard’s camp attempted to delay the consummation of the Anthony Davis to the Lakers trade until “as late as Sunday.” No reason was provided to the Lakers, only that the request be honored if the organization wanted to stay in the running for his services. We had relayed that Leonard’s free agency decision was holding up a series of moves, the Davis trade being one of them.
  • Shelburne also noted that Leonard, who is known for his quiet demeanor both on and off the court, took an active, engaging role during free agency. “For a quiet guy, he’s a hell of a recruiter,” one source told her. Sam Amick of The Athletic heard a similar account of Leonard’s activity during free agency: “Kawhi recruited the hell out of him,” one source told Amick. “He did a number on Paul.”
  • The Thunder organization was blindsided by George’s trade request, ESPN’s Royce Young writes. It was just one year ago when George decided to forego free agency and re-sign with OKC on a long-term pact. The Palmdale, California, native had long been rumored to want to play for his hometown Lakers; now he will return home but will suit up for the Clippers.
  • With George gone, the Thunder secured quite the haul their now-former superstar. While OKC had planned to compete next season, led by George and Russell Westbrook, the focus is now on a rebuild. Brett Dawson of The Athletic examined how and why the trade went down and which directions are available to the Thunder. Whether it’s dealing Westbrook and going full rebuild or trying to build a roster more suited toward their MVP’s style, OKC has a lot of decisions to make.
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50 thoughts on “Paul George Trade Roundup: Kawhi, Davis, Trade Request, Durant

  1. Cabrera4l

    So it was an inside job to inform reporters that Kawhi was interested in joining the lakers so they would not sign any of the top free agents and focus just on Kawhi. Nice play

    • Black Ace57

      No, Leonard told the Clippers they needed Paul George to get him. If they didn’t trade for PG there was a good chance he would be a Laker. No 5d chess here.

  2. KnicksFanCavsFan

    I don’t have a problem with player movement or them wanting to swuad up but I do have a major problem with recently signed players demanding trades to squad up with another team. The idea that a player (Kawhi) recruited and prompted a player to demand a trade to join him is a bad precedent. I guess you can say that’s what LBJ/Rich Paul did but they listed more than one teams AND made ie clear that he will go thru the FA prices too.

    Even tho LBJ is the poster child for player movements to squad up he’s never demanded a trade and has honored all contracts.

    When players on good teams demand trades it hurts the home team because they seldom get equal value in return.

      • I don’t think it’s a problem because the teams are holding out for a good return. You can request a trade but we won’t do it unless we get something excellent back. I’m sure there’s plenty of trade requests that aren’t granted, probably every month.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          True, the team doesn’t have to grant the trade. Show me a situation, other than with Kobe, where that turned out well? Teams can hold out for the best offer but the “best offer” doesn’t mean near to or equal value. Maybe OKC can use some of those picks to acquire a star player but that remains to be seen. More than likely it might be a retooling or flat out rebuild if they decide to move on from Westbrook which appears to be their intent since they tried to package him and George to the Raptors.

    • braveshomer

      yeah I kinda agree, it’s getting ridiculous. Gotta suck for the fans to see their favorite players up and leave in the middle of the night. No different than coaches in College leaving i guess but still….At some point the league should adjust and only hand out 1 year deals instead of these max long term deals that aren’t actually long term

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        I think the only way to curb the trend of the big 3 is limiting how many “All-NBA Team” players a team can have with regards to FA. Allow a team to have up to two All-NBA players. If a team wants to add a 3rd then they can’t unless they move one of the others. A team like the GSW could have Klay, Curry and Green because they drafted them. However, they wouldn’t have been able to add Durant. Also, make it so that the compensation for signing a All-NBA player is the immediate loss of the signing team’s next 1st and 2nd round picks or next two 1st round picks. Something along those lines.

        • Dodgethis

          Everything about that idea is absurd. Why would you give the league that much control? Competition isn’t really competition when it’s scripted….

          • KnicksFanCavsFan

            how is competition, competition when then top 15 or so players (Lbj, AD, Durant, Kyrie, Kawhi, PG, Curry, Klay, Embid, Lillard, Simmons, Harden, CP3, Jokic, Giannis, Westbrook ) basically play on the same 8 teams? I mean that trade request by PG basically blows up the OKC thunder that JUST signed PG2 years ago.

        • x%sure

          The union would not agree to movement restrictions. I think the league could “tax” allstars but blocking them would be a tough sell and not look good.

    • Ironmonger835

      Thunder were going nowhere with George and Westbrook. Back to back first round exits.

    • joemoes

      I have a problem with this as well. AD hasn’t signed an extension an agreed with a team before lakers. Paul George CHOSE OKC he could of been a free agent. He still has 3 years left on his deal of a team he CHOSE.

      Shouldn’t this be considered tampering Kwahi talking to George.

    • x%sure

      OKC got a haul though. They’re better off in the long run. SGA and all those picks. They didn’t seem to jell last year, to be moving in the right direction. I don’t recall the details why but I predicted they would be swept first round.

      • trout27

        All those picks will be in the late 20s so there is no guarantee that any will produce any significant players. Gallinari is a FA after this next season. This essentially boils down to what OKC can acquire with those picks in further trades and the continued development of SGA. Gallinari is a good trade piece .

  3. Can you imagine the sales job the Clippers did on Kawhi?

    “You would be nothing special on the Lakers they’ve got a lot of Championship banners.. you would just be up up there with Kobe and Shaq magic and Kareem.

    “You come to the Clippers and win two or three after what they’ve been through you would be a big time hero like you are now in Canada.”

  4. Hoya_Destroya

    As a Spurs fan, I’ve pretty much soured on Kawhi and these antics confirm my suspicions about he and uncle Dennis. I wont deny his greatness as a ballplayer and his ability to be a transformational player for any franchise but, the quiet guy “act” is a ploy. Regardless, the Clips will be formidable next year because of Lou William’s off the bench. He proved last year, that he is one of the top players in crunch time currently in the league! He reminds me of Ginobili in that regard.

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      @hoya-destroya What did he really do? He told SAP he was not ready to play and they didn’t believe him. He get’s traded to a team he had no intention of playing for. They took him serious about his workload and Kawhi rewarded them by having an inspiring playoff run, playing thru an obvious injury, and won them a chip. It was known back when he was with SAP that he wanted to play for the Clippers (or LA team). He told teams if you can get PG then I’ll sign. No antics. It was PG who made the decision to step to OKC and request a trade. Kawhi has no loyalty towards OKC. George couldn’t told him “no, I’m happy”.

      • x%sure

        Do you mean the Spurs with “SAP”?
        I don’t recall Leonard publicly asked for George, ever.
        I see antics & deceit all over with Leonard. His coyness is fraudulent; he just hates the fans.

  5. clubberlang

    2 Things
    1. The NBA offseason > regular season
    2. We finally have no clear cut favorite to win the finals. So many dynamic duos. Somebody list them lol.

  6. braveshomer

    It is amazing in one fell swoop Kawhi effected at least 4 franchises for the long and short term just so he could team up a friend….left Toronto wondering what they’re going to do now, broke up the Thunder, cost Clippers draft picks for years to come, cause the Lakers to miss out on signing others as he strung them along, cost AD 4 million thinking they had a shot to get him….pretty amazing what 1 or 2 decisions created, wonder how he’s viewed around the league now especially from guys like AD and Russell Westbrook or even Danny Green

    • x%sure

      My understanding is that they did not know each other until Kawhi started recruiting him after Durant turned him down. Last year Westbrooke recruited George with a house party; this year it was Kawhi.

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        Who didn’t know each other? Kawhi and PG played against each other prior to the NBA. Either HS or college. What current NBA vets DON’T know each other in today’s world?

  7. clubberlang

    West Conference contenders (in no order)
    Houston
    Golden State
    LAC
    LAL
    Utah
    Denver
    Portland
    San Antonio
    Dallas if healthy

    East
    Philly
    Boston
    Milwaukee
    Brooklyn (next year)

    • I’d shorten the list in the West to LAC, LAL, Utah, Houston, and Denver. Maybe Portland too, but I think they took a slight step back. To me San Antonio, GSW will be a 6, 7, or 8 seed at best. Dallas, we’ll see how they do with Zinger, but don’t feel like they are a contender yet.

      To me on the East, it is Philly or Milwaukee only.

      • clubberlang

        I like Dallas as a dark horse with Kristaps and Luca. Great duo. I never count out San Antonio because of Pop.

        • dugdog83

          Let’s get real people

          West – either LA team
          East – Milwaukee

          It’s that simple. No other teams this year can do anything in the playoffs

  8. afsooner02

    Thunder need to dump Adams, Roberson and Schroeder and trade Russ for what you can get. Tank for a few years and rebuild.

    • clubberlang

      Yep, the Haul they pulled from George is enough to rebuild alone lol. Hey basically have 2 picks for the 5 years

    • I’d like to see a 3 team trade between Houston, OKC, and Miami.

      To Houston: Westbrook
      To Miami: Chris Paul
      To OKC: Dragic, filler, and picks.

      • clubberlang

        I think that makes Houston worse. But then again I really dislike Westbrook lol

        • Westbrook > Paul

          Paul seems to be on his last legs and his relationship with Harden isn’t great.

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        So trade a true PG ball distributor for another ISO heavy player to play along with Mr. ISO himself, aka James Harden? Yeah that’ll work out well.

    • bowserhound

      The only contract ridiculous enough to match Russ’ is CP3. Not sure who comes with more baggage.

  9. jdodge22

    Damn! So as a Celtics fan I’m pissed and Danny prob is too. Westbrook just became available

  10. jdodge22

    I don’t like the way the NBA is going. All the superstars just going where they please when they please. All going to just a few teams. It’s so much better when each team has their guy and the talent is spread out.

    • Strike Four

      “It’s so much better when each team has their guy and the talent is spread out.”

      Name any point in the entire history of the league where this has been true, I’ll wait.

  11. Lary Lapczynski

    I’ll never shed a tear for OKC. The way they screwed Seattle will forever taint this franchise.

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