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NBA Rumors: Knicks Could Have Beat The Clippers For Paul George

(via SB Nation)

(via SB Nation)

It was the Paul George trade that really changed things for the NBA. It effectively sent the Thunder into an early rebuilding stage and secured Kawhi Leonard's decision to join the Clippers.

But imagine how things would have turned out if the Knicks had stepped in in the PG pursuit. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the Knickerbockers actually had the opportunity to trade for the 6x All-Star.

“A couple days after the Knicks began telling reporters they canceled their meeting with Leonard, the Clippers traded with the Thunder for Paul George. According to reports, that deal turned the Clippers into the frontrunner for Leonard, who wanted a star running mate. According to an OKC source, the Knicks had enough assets to match and even exceed the Clippers’ offer (which was a colossal haul that included Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and four unprotected first-round picks and one protected first-rounder).”

Granted, the Knicks were not amongst PG's preferred lost of destinations. But had they traded for him, the assumption is that it would have given them a shot at Kawhi as well, who had been looking for a suitable running mate.

It likely would have cost them an unprecedented number of assets, but it would have earned the Knicks a star. Instead, the team will be facing another losing season as they attempt to develop their talented young core.

Looking back, the possibilities would have been endless with George, even if he did come at a cost. Did they make a mistake in not trading for him?