Paul George opened up this week about why he requested a trade from the Indiana Pacers three years ago, and the star swingman said a lot of it had to do with a fellow All-Star wanting to play for the Pacers and the team not making an attempt to acquire him. Now, we know who that unnamed player was.
George said he was angry with the Pacers over their unwillingness to explore a trade for “the best power forward” in the NBA. While George didn’t name the player, J. Michael of the Indy Star reports that George was referring to Anthony Davis. However, the situation may have been more complicated than George made it sound.
I keep getting Blake Griffin comments over this. It was NOT him. PG is referring to Anthony Davis who had a couple yrs left on his deal. No commitment to #Pacers beyond that and a team gutting itself to get AD and then having to compete w/Lakers in free agency made it a no-go https://t.co/cJ1BppN6L2
— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) June 23, 2020
Davis had two years remaining on his contract at the time, and he reportedly would not commit to Indiana beyond that. Michael went on to note that the Pacers probably did not have enough to offer to entice the New Orleans Pelicans to trade Davis to them.
The other hitch …dealing for AD wasn’t that simple. If AD wanted to come to Indy and stay he would’ve gotten every penny allowed by the CBA. The other team has to value wha you’re offering above all others https://t.co/oyUMwWbiVQ
— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) June 24, 2020
George said last year that he was going to eventually tell the full story of why he left the Pacers, and it sounds like their inability to acquire Davis was the biggest factor. We’ll never know how much effort Indiana made to land Davis, but they would not be the first franchise that was unwilling to mortgage their entire future for one player.
Of course, it should be noted that George butted heads with the Pacers over their desire to play him at the power forward position. That likely added to his frustration when they were unable or unwilling to trade for Davis.