Grade the Trade: Knicks add Paul George in big-time trade proposal

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New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers

RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Laying out the trade package for Paul George

Paul George is an eight-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA player, finishing as high as third in the MVP race in 2018-19. He is a career 38.1 percent three-point shooter on high volume and is a versatile defender who can match up with multiple positions. That’s the kind of player you pay up for.

On the other hand, George is now 33 years old, is making $45.6 million next season, and has missed important chunks of the last few seasons with injuries, including missing the entire playoffs this past year. That would cause the Knicks to ease up on the price they are willing to offer, especially since George wants to sign a max-contract extension with whatever team he is traded to.

Those are the competing factors in establishing George’s value. Scotto reported that the offer on the table from the Clippers was Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, and three first-round picks, with Evan Fournier serving as matching salary. That would look something like this:

Clippers Get
RJ Barrett
Quentin Grimes
Evan Fournier
DAL, WAS, '28 NYK firsts
Knicks Get
Paul George

For the Clippers, this deal would give them two young starters at the 2 and the 3, and would pave the way for them to turn around and trade for James Harden to pair with Kawhi Leonard and make another run. Barrett is starting a new contract extension and at times last year looked like he was being seriously overpaid and underpaid, so determining his value on the market is difficult.

The 2028 first-round pick from the Knicks has a little upside, as Brunson’s deal will run out by then, but given that the Clippers are likely to be much worse by then it isn’t too dangerous to give up. The Dallas and Washington picks have protection on them and are unlikely to yield a top pick.

This would be a big haul for the Knicks to send for George. Should they agree to the Clippers’ demands and trade this package for PG-13?

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