For those dreaming of Paul George joining the New York Knicks, go back to sleep.
After Leon Rose and Los Angeles Clippers engaged in talks about a trade involving the eight-time All-Star, MSG Network analyst and ESPN’s Allan Hahn said on the Bart & Hahn Show that the mega-deal is “off the table,” citing the star’s desire for a contract extension upon the move.
“[The Knicks] had a chance to get [him] but they said it was too expensive and they didn’t want to do it,” Hahn said. “They’ve already backed out of that. They talked to the Clippers, they gave what it would cost, and Paul George said that he wanted an extension and [New York] said we’re not doing that.
“So they walked away. Paul George is off the table.”
The 33-year-old is eligible for an extension that could max out at $220 million over four years. If that doesn’t come, he can decline the player option for the 2024-25 season under his current deal and test free agency next summer.
Under those circumstances, not only would New York have been forced to part ways with a significant part of its young foundation — most notably a talent like RJ Barrett — but then it would have to utilize significant funds to retain George which could be used elsewhere to build more of a well-rounded contender.
That investment becomes far more riskier when considering the guard’s inability to stay on the court consistently. Injuries have limited him to an average of just 47 games per year over the last four seasons.
Where the Knicks pivot from here remains to be seen, though Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported that they have shown interest in Boston Celtics restricted free agent Grant Williams. There is also a chance that they commit more funds to guard Josh Hart, who exercised his $12.9 million player option for the 2023-24 season but is eligible for an extension in August.