Paul George to Cleveland is Still a Real Possibility


Last week, I wrote on here that Chris Broussard appeared on Colin Cowherd’s show “The Herd” and said that there was a possibility that Cleveland could trade for Paul George.

Well, yesterday on the Ryen Russillo Show, Russillo discussed with Will Cain the possibility of George being dealt to the Cavs.

Russillo: There is another thing brewing here with Cleveland that is very worth paying attention too and this is based on conversations around the league and that is this:

It is that Cleveland, even if they end up trending towards the one seed because Boston is regressing a bit here, Cleveland is still going to be like every team looking at this as an arms race and if they can add a DeAndre Jordan they are going to try. I don’t know if the Clippers would be interested in taking back some of the contracts they’d have to, maybe it doesn’t make a ton of sense, but if they get some kind of asset from it, they may like it and they may like one of those players.

But there is one other thing worth paying attention too and that is Paul George and you are going to say “Ryen, Paul George is on the Thunder, that doesn’t make any sense.” 

But, just in conversations and theories being thrown around would, if the Thunder were a mess, and we are saying below .500 (they’ve been really good defensively).

Would you then say if you are [Sam] Presti, “I have no indication George is staying, I don’t want to lose him for nothing and now it shouldn’t matter, but the assets I moved out look pretty good for the Pacers, we aren’t that good of a playoff threat? Could I move Paul George for some kind of piece and what would the bidding entail?’

 And then would Cleveland, LeBron, call up Paul George and say, “Get over here we will send over a pick.” I don’t think it would be the Brooklyn pick; I don’t think Cleveland would ever do that.

And would they be able to add Paul George even being the number one seed in the East? And would Presti, in the all-time Westbrook petty game, would Presti help facilitate George to the Cavs knowing that it would ultimately likely mess with the Warriors in the NBA Finals?

Will Cain: Ok, let me ask you two questions, all right.

First, you a little bit like Stephen A. [Smith] when I hear you start you know pontificating on possibilities I realize it’s more than just “let’s see what sticks against the wall’ ok?

Russillo: Yes, thank you.

Will Cain: Meaning you have talked to some people, you know that you didn’t make it up. So, let me ask you this. 

What assets would Cleveland, you think, be willing to part with to bring back a piece and I don’t think I can say like Paul George because Paul George is somewhat a unique piece in the terms of he is a rental.

What assets are they willing to part with?

Russillo: This would really be a ‘George is leaving you are going to get nothing for him; no other team is going to give you a first rounder.’

Where Cleveland would say ‘We will give you some first rounder, not the Brooklyn one because Oklahoma City would do that in a second.

And that is if the Thunder, in two months, look like a team that still has nothing going for them. They could be good, they could be in the playoffs, but it’s about ‘do you think they are actually going to compete’ and if Presti having to go through with Durant who may be a little bit more sensitive to then just let George go.

The market for George may be nothing because everybody trading for him doesn’t think they are going to be able to keep him.  Would Cleveland say ‘well, we don’t care; we will move a first rounder for the guy,’ so that’s really the conversation you have to have. 

The Brooklyn pick would do it.

Will Cain: Well, yeah as you point out, that’s not happening. What you are looking at is a late 20s first round pick or something in the future to get Paul George.

This conversation is loaded with stuff to talk about. First off, we need to talk about Russillo’s credibility.  He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He was first on Durant to Golden State and he was first on LeBron going back to Cleveland. He is very careful about what he says on his show, as noted by Cain. He doesn’t just say stuff to get a few hundred retweets.

So, if Russillo is saying that there are discussions around the league about this happening, I believe him 100%.

Last week, when Broussard was on “The Herd,” he talked about unloading someone like Kevin Love. From this conversation, it sounds like the Cavs don’t even have to do that.  I don’t want to spinRussillo’ss words, but it sounds like a late 20s first round pick is all it could take.

As Russillo mentioned, the market for George is shot. No one is going to give up anything with value to take George for half a season for him to go somewhere else.

If a late first rounder is all it takes, I say, do it in a heartbeat. Those picks usually don’t pan out anyway and you can get a guy like George who would help immensely against the Warriors.

This isn’t happening tomorrow or next week. It may happen a couple months from now, but like I said last week and what Russillo said yesterday, it is definitely something to keep an eye on.

My suggestion for Cavs fans is to start hate watching the Thunder because this could only happen IF the Thunder don’t start looking like a team who could make a run through the West.

Also, something to think about how awesome would the Cavs look if this deal is done? After they failed to add Paul George and Jimmy Butler, not re-signing David Griffin and the Kyrie Irving fiasco, they could come out looking like geniuses.

They would have traded Kyrie Irving for the Brooklyn pick that gives them the flexibility to move their pick in the 20s to get George. Isaiah Thomas, who was an all-star last year and Jae Crowder.

In one year, the Cavs would have flipped Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Paul George, Jae Crowder and a top-10 pick.

Absolutely incredible.

As for the part about Presti trading George to stick it to Durant, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski was on later in the show and shot down the idea of Presti solely trading George to stick it towards Durant.


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