Pacific rival spites Warriors in cruel blow to hopes of championship revival

The Golden State Warriors reportedly put a solid offer on the table to land 9x All-Star Paul George
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors bid to land 9x All-Star Paul George came to an abrupt halt on Saturday, with the LA Clippers' star opting out of his $48.8 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent.

With no available cap space, the Warriors were reliant on George opting in, requesting a trade, and then orchestrating a deal with the Clippers. A report from The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on Saturday revealed how close Golden State came to landing the 34-year-old two-forward, and how far they may have been prepared to go to make it happen.

The LA Clippers seemingly refused to trade Paul George to the Golden State Warriors, preferring to lose him for nothing in free agency

The issue was always going to be the Clippers willingness to essentially help a direct pacific rival, not to mention what kind of price the Warriors were willing to pay to secure themselves a second offensive star next to Stephen Curry.

According to Kawakami, the offer was actually reasonable given the circumstances, with that also including discussions on rising star Jonathan Kuminga who was previously viewed by many as untouchable.

"From what I've heard, some combination (but definitely not all) of Wiggins, CP3, Jonathan Kuminga or Moses Moody, plus one future first-round pick were put into discussions with the Clippers."

Tim Kawakami

Kawakami also outlines that the Clippers weren't overly keen given the financial demands of taking on Paul and Wiggins' contracts. While that's understandable, refusing a deal that could have landed Kuminga and picks suggests Los Angeles had no serious inclination in orchestrating a deal.

They could have got something for George, but they'd rather lose him for nothing than help Golden State. Assuming he does leave in free agency, it will be interesting to see how fans respond to the fact they left something of value (Kuminga) on the table.

The most frustrating element to this is the fact that per Kawakami, "George gave strong indications he wanted to join the Warriors." Combined that with the fact this failed play has essentially cost franchise legend Klay Thompson, and you're left with a disastrous situation Golden State will do well to recover from in the coming days.