Might the Golden State Warriors consider going after Paul George in free agency next summer?
The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami appeared on the Posting Up podcast with The Washington Post‘s Tim Bontemps (h/t NESN), and some comments he made about George and the Warriors, while not an official rumor, are making the rounds, so we’re going to jump in on the fun as well:
“Marcus [Thompson] and I have teased this for more than a year. We think they’re going to go after Paul George somehow. I think Joe Lacob is going to try to find a way to get Paul George. I don’t know how that would happen, but I didn’t know how it was going to happen three years ago when they said they were going after Durant.”
So, let’s get this out of the way: George isn’t going to the Warriors as currently constructed—not unless they break up the Core Four.
Kevin Durant could opt into his contract and the Warriors could purge the books of everyone not named Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, and they would still end up over the salary cap after factoring in their draft pick and minimum roster charges. Getting rid of Thompson or Green wouldn’t even open the room necessary to bankroll George’s max deal, which figures to be worth roughly $30.6 million against a $102 million salary cap.
The only kind of, sort of, quarter-possible way this happens is if the Warriors deal either Thompson or Green, plus everyone else, then get Durant and George to take less as free agents. Other convoluted scenarios exist—such as jettisoning Thompson and Green, or moving on from Curry—but each is as unlikely and headache-inducing as the next.
Ergo, this is not going happen.