Before the Oklahoma City Thunder threw a massive welcome party for one year of Paul George, the Indiana Pacers desperately shopped their former superstar.
One of their calls went to the Golden State Warriors to test the viability on a potential deal, according to report by Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher.
Obviously the talks didn’t go far. The primary reason: The Pacers wanted Klay Thompson in return.
Thompson has two years remaining on a $69-million contract he signed before the 2015-16 season. George has a player option after the upcoming year and would cost a couple more million than Thompson annually.
George acknowledged the report on The Woj Pod on Thursday.
“I think that would have been the Chris Paul-to-L.A. situation, where (the NBA) denied that trade,” George said about the trade offer. “Yeah, I was aware of it. I would’ve looked forward to it, just being in a good situation … But it didn’t happen.”
Instead of landing Thompson, a top-five shooter in NBA history, the Pacers settled on Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis — two former lottery picks.
Before signing off from Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast, George offered his thoughts on the effect the Warriors have had on the NBA as a whole, offering some insight into his thought process that led to him forcing his way out of Indianapolis.
“You need help in this league,” George said. “Back in the day, that’s what made the league. Guys were winning championships, making their team better by themselves. They had pieces and they had a lot of help. But the league was spread out.
“Now you’ve got guys teaming up, the landscape has shifted a bit. In order to compete against that, you have to have guys that can compete at the same level as you. That’s really what this league has come down to. [The Warriors] shifted the landscape a lot.”
Golden State bounced from Summer League playoffs
The Warriors lost to the Celtics, 93-69, on Thursday in Las Vegas.
Patrick McCaw led all scorers with 20 points in 24 minutes.
The Dubs wrap up their time in Vegas today.