LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to enjoy three years of success before everything started falling apart.
Kevin Durant had made the Warriors practically unbeatable, tensions were rising between LeBron James and team management, and Kyrie Irving already had a foot out the door by the time the team lost the 2017 Finals.
But all of that may have been fixed by a blockbuster trade the Cavs nearly pulled off the summer before James left. According to a report by The Undefeated’s Mike Wise at the time, the Pacers and Cavaliers nearly had a three-team deal in place that would have sent Love and Denver’s Gary Harris to Indiana for Paul George.
Before he traded Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, Indiana Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard reportedly turned down a blockbuster three-team deal involving the Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers for the All-Star forward.
As The Undefeated’s Mike Wise reported Saturday, Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert agreed to a trade that would have sent Kevin Love to Denver, George to Cleveland and Gary Harris to the Pacers, but Pritchard backed out of the deal.
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In 2017 the Cavs agreed to a three-way team trade which would’ve sent Kevin Love to Denver, Harris to Indiana and PAUL GEORGE to Cleveland. • However, only hours before finalizing everything, Indiana backed out of the deal. • Would the Cavs have won a championship in 2017 if the deal went through? 🤷🏾♂️
George would have been essential for the team because he’s a young, athletic two-way player who would have definitely bolstered almost every aspect of the team. Alongside LeBron and Kyrie, he would have gotten a ton of open looks and could have given James a break on the defensive end.
Unfortunately, Indiana backed out at the last second and later decided on a trade with the Thunder instead. But, who knows, had PG gone to Cleveland, LeBron and Kyrie might’ve still been there today.
Obviously we’ll have to leave that scenario to our dreams.