Cavaliers were close to having Paul George until the Pacers backed out

Indiana Pacers, Paul George
Indiana Pacers, Paul George /

Woj is dropping retroactive bombs now, revealing on ESPN that the Cleveland Cavaliers were very close to a Paul George deal the night he was traded to OKC.

We all remember the night that ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne shocked the world and tweeted that Paul George would be traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. It was less than three weeks ago, after all. However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is now reporting that the Paul George was much closer to a more hyped outcome than we were led to believe.

Wojnarowski appeared on Sportscenter as well as The Jump on Tuesday reporting that the Cavaliers acting GM Koby Altman was very close to nabbing Paul George on the night of June 30. Here’s what he had to say (transcript is via the Sporting News).

"“Koby Altman was very close to a deal on June 30th for Paul George. It was so close, in fact, that Indiana was about to give permission to Paul George to get on the phone with Dan Gilbert. Indiana backed out of it and did the Oklahoma City deal.”"

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There’s a lot of things we don’t know about this report, which really raises more questions than it answers. We don’t know what the package for George would have included, although the ocean of rumors leading up to free agency would have us believe that Kevin Love was involved in some capacity.

Even if Love was the centerpiece, we don’t know if Altman was negotiating a straight swap or if other pieces were involved.

We can reason that whatever the package was, Kevin Pritchard found it to not be as valuable as Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Reasonable people can disagree if Kevin Love is a better package than the OKC package.

Back in June, we posited that having Paul George wouldn’t actually tip the Finals in Cleveland’s favor, but it seems they didn’t feel the same way.

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This news doesn’t really change anything, but at least it’s not some Boston radio host claiming the Celtics almost had Michael Jordan but wouldn’t include Danny Ainge’s favorite paper clip.