Sport Paul George: I wanted Pacers to trade me to Spurs over Lakers
Magic Johnson: If Pelicans were willing to trade Anthony Davis at deadline, I’d still be running Lakers
Magic Johnson also said, if he remained in charge, the Lakers would've had a better chance of signing Kawhi Leonard.Johnson assembled ill-fitting pieces, didn’t trade for Anthony Davis and quit. Even trying to help in an unofficial position, Johnson didn’t lure Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers.
George had another team on top of his wish list.
“I wanted to be traded to San Antonio,” George says. “We wanted to go to San Antonio first, and we didn’t make that happen.”
A league source confirmed that the Pacers and Spurs talked, but San Antonio lacked the assets to pair George with Leonard.
Despitethe Spurs to deal for George, Indiana traded George to the Thunder. George spent a couple years in Oklahoma City and appeared mostly happy. But he requested and received a trade to join Leonard on the Clippers last summer, finally uniting the star forwards.
Kawhi Leonard on Clippers integrating Paul George: Only thing to do is just play
Eight years later, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are together. The Clippers forwards were almost teammates when George played for the Indiana Pacers and the team drafted a 19-year-old prospect from San Diego State in 2011. Instead, George watched Leonard grow from afar after the mild-mannered wing player was traded to San Antonio, transformed from a defensive specialist to all-around star and won two NBA championships. Getting to bear witness up close this year hasn't disappointed. "Everything is true about his makeup," George said of Leonard. "Works hard, great teammate, great locker room guy."He actually does talk," George added with a laugh.
At the time of George’s Pacers trade saga, there was a theory he was using a veneer of Lakers interest to help his new team maintain assets. The threat of George leaving in 2018 free agency for Los Angeles reduced the quality of offers to Indiana. The Thunder’s package certainly looked meager (thoughand blossomed with the Pacers). Then, George re-signed with Oklahoma City without even meeting with the Lakers. This revelation only further supports that theory.
Is it true, though? George now plays with Leonard on L.A.’s rival team. He might want toand . This story accomplishes both.
I’ll definitely give George this: Whatever his motivations, he said on the record the Spurs were his first choice in 2017. He didn’t hide behind the cloak of anonymity. So, I’m inclined to believe him.
George will be center of attention during Clippers debut vs. Pelicans
Paul George makes his debut for the Clippers, and the absence of Kawhi Leonard leaves the spotlight for George in his first game with his new team."The wait is over," George wrote on his Instagram page. "Line it up.
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