Skip to main content

Westbrook and George could've been in Toronto

Russell-Westbrook-Paul-George

It was a wild night in the NBA. Kawhi and George ended up with the Clippers to from a genuine title contender, and the Thunder got an unprecedented return for Paul George. We didn't think the package the Pelicans got for Davis would spend so little at the top of trade returns.

As Marc Stein reported, the Thunder got Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, three unprotected Clippers first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026), two firsts from Miami (2021 unprotected and 2023 protected 1-to-14) and the right to swap picks with the Clips in 2023 and 2025. This is a monster haul.

Kawhi gave us a lesson in assuming once again. Just because he is not loud and self-promoting on social media, doesn't mean he isn't proactive. He first contacted Durant about teaming up with him as a Clipper. KD was intrigued but decided to go to Brooklyn with his buddy Kyrie. Then Kawhi directed his attention to Paul George. The two players spoke, and Kawhi informed the Clippers he would join them if they bring PG in.

George talked to Sam Presti and requested a trade, and the request caught OKC entirely off guard. They signed Alec Burks and resigned Nerlens Noel, moves that are gearing up for the season to come. While OKC had a disappointing end to the season (third consecutive first-round exit), they still felt that a few changes to the roster could put them back in contention. Here's how ESPN's Royce Young described it:

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

“To say the Thunder were surprised is an understatement. They were completely blown away. It was like a dump truck drove right through their practice facility and dropped this news on their desk.”

Royce Young, ESPN

They had to act quickly and did what they could. How did they do it? Divide and conquer. Sam Presti talked to the Clippers and the Raptors, having both teams upping the other team's offer. We now know the package from the Clippers, but it was fascinating to find out what Presti asked for from the Raptors.

The deal would center around Pascal Siakam and draft picks, with a significant difference that he wanted the Raptors to take George AND Westbrook in the agreement. The Raptors engaged in talks, believing that getting George would convince Kawhi to stay in Toronto.

The Raptors were never in a position to match the Clippers with all the draft picks they got from the Griffin and Harris trades, but the added ask of Westbrook being in the trade was just too much for the Raptors.

Many believe Westbrook is more likely to be traded than not, but it remains to be seen who would be willing to pay one of the league's worst three-point shooters on a supermax deal that would pay him $47 million in '22/'23.

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Irving said that his decision to remain unvaccinated from COVID-19, which prevented him from playing for the Brooklyn Nets, cost him a new contract this offseason

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic

“I don’t want to disappoint him" - Nikola Jokic credits the person behind his life-changing weight loss

Nikola Jokic has entrusted his career and life to the Nuggets' strength and conditioning coach. And he didn't make a mistake.

Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller

“I knew immediately” — Reggie Miller on scoring 8 points in 8.9 seconds against the New York Knicks

Reggie Miller gave Knicks forward Anthony Mason some props for delivering the best chest pass he's ever seen.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green

“I don't think it will happen” — Draymond Green on getting a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors

Draymond said he won't let his contract situation get in the way of defending the title. Let's see if he feels the same way when Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins get an extension.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

“He was crying, bro” — Chauncey Billups revealed why Kobe Bryant was crying after making it to the 2009 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant was so determined to win a championship without Shaquille O'Neal to the point that his emotions oftentimes consumed him.

Los Angeles Dodgers partner Magic Johnson and wife Cookie Johnson

“I bribed her. I gave her a million dollars” — Cookie Johnson's condition to allow Magic Johnson to return in 1995

The money was just a cherry on the top. Cookie gave Magic a clear ultimatum, or else she would've divorced him.

Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter

“I felt like it was close“ — Vince Carter revealed that he was close to teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal's unwillingness to play in Canada was a harsh truth pill to swallow for Vince Carter, whose career would've probably been different if he had teamed up with O'Neal.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

“I appreciate the compliment. It's not going to soften me at all.” — Steph Curry brushes off Giannis Antetokounmpo calling him the “best player in the world”

Compliment or not, Steph Curry says he’s not going to let Giannis Antetokounmpo get into his head with some gamesmanship.