Oklahoma City Thunder star Carmelo Anthony said the Cleveland Cavaliers nearly landed both him and Paul George during the 2017 NBA Draft.
Here is how Anthony explained how he and George almost played with LeBron James (via ESPN):
“Me and PG have a very close friendship. Actually, it was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night. We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the season.”
Ramona Shelburne, Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst reported in July that George was nearly traded to the Cavaliers in a three-team deal and Cleveland would have given up Kevin Love.
According to the New York Daily News, the Knicks requested Tristan Thompson. However, New York apparently wanted to instead send Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert.
It’s unclear how this would have changed whether the team would have traded Kyrie Irving. Rumors indicated Anthony wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause for Cleveland due to turmoil between James and Irving.
Roster For the Cavs If Those Trades HAppened
PG — Isaiah Thomas
SG — Paul George
SF — LeBron James
PF — Carmelo Anthony
C — Tristan Thompson
This is not the first time NBA fans heard about George and Anthony nearly landing on the Cavaliers. Instead, both are now on the Thunder. But it is still interesting to imagine what they would have looked like, assuming the Irving trade still happened.
Jae Crowder, JR Smith, Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver would have likely remained on the roster for bench depth, though it’s hard to fathom owner Dan Gilbert footing an even larger luxury-tax bill in order to add Dwyane Wade.
It remains unconfirmed that a lack of interest in Love is what made the deal fall through.
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