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#pounditMonday, March 4, 2024

The rumored reason Knicks turned down Paul George trade

Paul George in a Clippers jersey

Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have had a relatively quiet offseason thus far. Apart from seemingly trying to reconstruct the 2016 NCAA title-winning Villanova Wildcats roster (bring back Ryan Arcidiacono!) and trading away Obi Toppin for scraps, this summer has lacked the buzz that New York generated last year when they gave Jalen Brunson a then-polarizing 4-year, $104 million contract.

But could the silence just be on the surface?

The Knicks were said to have been in communication with the Los Angeles Clippers to discuss a potential Paul George trade, according to MSG Network analyst and ESPN radio host Alan Hahn.

Hahn didn’t mince words in a recent Bart & Hahn podcast episode wherein he told his co-host that the Knicks “had a chance to get Paul George” but deemed the asking price too exorbitant to ultimately pursue. Hahn also added that the sticking point for New York was that George wanted a contract extension if the Clippers star was to be shipped to the East Coast, something Hahn claims the Knicks were completely unwilling to do.

Assuming there’s truth to the rumor, the Knicks’ hard stance against a George extension request is hardly surprising. It’s been reported that the Clippers themselves are unwilling to tack on more years onto their commitment to George, who’s owed almost $95 million over the next two seasons with a player option on the second year.

Any hesitation surely has to do with George’s age and durability. The 33-year-old hasn’t been reliably healthy for almost half a decade now, having been unable to play more than 56 games in a season over the last four years.

There’s no doubt that Paul George would look great on the marquee at Madison Square Garden, but the risk may outweigh the potential reward for the Knicks.

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