The New York Knicks decided not to aggressively pursue a trade for Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George this week.
Ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft, reports emerged that L.A. was taking some calls regarding its second-best player.
New York seemed like a natural landing spot, given some of the weaknesses exposed during this year’s playoff run.
That said, ultimately, the Knicks opted not to pull the trigger.
It didn’t take long for the real reason why to come out.
“Multiple league insiders this week expressed doubts about what return value the team could get for him, if the Clippers are truly motivated to deal him, and believed a top draft pick in exchange for George was not within range,” Andrew Greif and Broderick Turner of Los Angeles Times reported this week.
“Those doubts, the sources said, centered on his history of injuries and contract status. After some internal discussions, the Knicks have become hesitant about acquiring George.
“The Knicks also think George’s representatives will ask for a contract extension. He’s due to earn $45.6 million next season and $48.8 million the following season if he exercises his option.”
While the Knicks’ hesitancy as it pertains to George is understandable, it is not reflective of the whole league.
At the moment, two other teams are very interested in George’s services. Whether anything will actually materialize or not remains to be seen, though.
Yikes Malika Andrews. https://t.co/2VMtq6trfB
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 23, 2023
George’s health will always be the big question when it comes to him. This past season he participated in 56 outings – his most since the 2018-19 season.
When he is on the court and physically right, he is one of the league’s most versatile players on both sides of the floor. But his health is always in question.
Will that ultimately scare other suitors away in the future the way it did the Knicks this week? An answer one way or another will emerge soon enough.