Paul George Talks 2017 Trade Request, Teaming Up With Kawhi

After sitting out the Clippers‘ last three games due to a left knee contusion, Kawhi Leonard will suit up tonight against Boston, marking the first time that Leonard and Paul George will play together for the franchise, per Ohm Youngmisuk and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

For George, it will be the culmination of what has been a years-long desire to team up with Leonard, as he tells Youngmisuk in a separate ESPN article. According to George, when he requested a trade out of Indiana in 2017, the Lakers were widely believed to be his desired landing spot, but he also had interest in being sent to the Spurs, who still had Kawhi on their roster at the time.

“I wanted to be traded to San Antonio,” George told Youngmisuk. “We wanted to go to San Antonio first, and we didn’t make that happen.”

A source confirms to ESPN that the Spurs and Pacers talked at the time, but San Antonio lacked the assets necessary to make a move for George. The Lakers ultimately passed too, since they were reluctant to surrender too many assets for a player they thought they might be able to sign in free agency, writes Youngmisuk. George was eventually dealt to Oklahoma City, but still hoped to team up with Leonard at some point down the road.

“Since that moment, we were trying to pair up with one another,” George said. “We were trying to make it work. [After being traded to the Thunder] I had obligations that I wanted to come back to Oklahoma and give it another shot. … And then I felt that I needed to move on, I needed to go in another direction and I needed to at that point do what I wanted to do my whole career.”

About four or five days before news broke this summer that the Clippers had reached deals to acquire George and sign Leonard, Kawhi reached out to PG13 to see if the time was finally right to try to play together. Although it took another trade request from George, the two star forwards did ultimately end up on the same roster in Los Angeles. Now, they’ll take the court together as teammates for the first time.

“Just seems like it was destined,” George said over the summer. “We were supposed to play together.”

newest oldest

19 thoughts on “Paul George Talks 2017 Trade Request, Teaming Up With Kawhi

  1. Senioreditor

    Destined???? He forced his way out of OKC after committing long term?

    • Forced his way out? The Thunder were going nowhere and got tremendous quality and quantity assets out of the deal. The team is in charge, not the player.

      If the team does not trade the player he’s got to play or no pay if he sits out. If he becomes a malcontent he lowers his value around the league. Nobody forces their way out. If the owner crumbles that’s on him.

        • Instead of a drive-by insult, why don’t you tell me why you disagree?

          It’s really just that the owners cave to the desires of the players.

          Seriously, Don’t you think the Thunder received a good package for Paul George? You think he forced his way out and the Thunder got nothing?

  2. IslandFlava

    I do like PG13, personally I think he is a better defender & attacker than Kawhi, which I like too, but I think PG13 acted a bit classless with OKC, if he did wanna go after 1 year of the new contract, just sign a 1 year contract not longer, then you can go wherever you want after, right?
    I do think this is a problem in the league, most contracts go for 4-5 years, if it was me couldn’t do it, I’d rather sign 1-2 year contracts & have more freedom, sure you can make more money with the longer contract, but when this guys make 200-300MM in their career surely your happiness is worth more than a fistful of $$$

  3. PG choose okc over Lakers really changed the destiny of the franchise… He deserves a monument

  4. signal_lost

    The problem here is that George is saying that he and Kawai have been colluding for two years to land on the same team. Before you start defending “collusion is no big deal” , realize what it means. It means that George had no intention of honoring his OKC contract even before he signed it. If this becomes the norm, there will be serious consequences. Like, does this void the NBA and players union agreement? THE PLAYERS agreed that there will be contracts in lengths agreed to by the teams and players. For the last 3 years star players have shown they aren’t going to honor those contracts (Butler, AD, George). I’m telling you, the teams are not going to sit idly by.

    • What is so tough to understand about this for everyone, not just here on this site? The owners do not have to trade these guys. Need an owner to stand up and have some backbone to end this.

      If they want to get paid they must play and honor their contract. Nobody’s putting a gun to the head of the owner to trade the guy. He’s under contract, he signed it, so did the team, now play. But if they get a nice package back and the guy wants out, fine trade him. But… THEY DON’T HAVE TO.

      • signal_lost

        Maybe you didn’t watch the spectacle of the previous 2 seasons where Jimmy Butler decided not to play and then AD decided not to play. So, the “Who Me?” routine is a little disingenuous. The fact is that some start players are not intending to honor their contracts.

        • Then the player can sit and not get paid. It’ll be a serious game of chicken and the players will lose.

    • amk3510

      Do you realize all of those teams benefited greatly from trading those players as opposed to them just walking for nothing? OKC is ecstatic George signed a contract even if he supposedly was not going to “honor it”.

      • signal_lost

        What has that got to do with ‘honor’? Nothing. Are you saying it’s ok to ignore your commitments as long as they “benefit”? I’m saying that the system will break down if enough players get the idea that they can get out of any contract by just announcing their intentions. There is no honor in breaking your commitments.

        • I hear what you’re saying. The owners have to not cave every time.

          If the Players know they can have their way then you’re right. Up to the owners to not crumble to the whims of players and their desired destinations mid-contract.

  5. x%sure

    I do NOT believe that NEW story. There are no facts to support it and a different one was told at the time– that PG13 was simply next on Kawhi’s list, in order to cement the Clipper choice.

    PG13 can becsold; Westbrook with his house party showed that the year before.

    • Agree. Paul George has some deep mental issues that he needs to work through.

Leave a Reply