Paul George Would Be Perfect Steph Curry Sidekick for Warriors amid NBA Trade Rumors | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Los Angeles Clippers Forward Paul George (13) guarded by Golden State Warriors Guard Stephen Curry (30) during a NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers on November 28, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have 74 losses and a single playoff series win to show for the past two NBA seasons.

They might need a miracle to get this group in position to contend during the 2024-25 campaign.

The basketball gods, though, put a potential miracle fix in front of them by the way of Paul George’s still unresolved contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Clippers. Now, you might be wondering what those discussions have to do with the Dubs. Well, if things don’t break in George’s favor with the Clippers, he might seek out a scenery change to get what he wants.

And Golden State is apparently eager to offer him exactly that.

“To this point, the Clippers have only been willing to offer Paul George about what they gave Kawhi Leonard,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Wednesday on Get Up (h/t RealGM). “Three years at a little bit less than the max contract, and Paul George, frankly, wants four years. He wants a full out max and there are a number of teams out there, I am told, that are prepared to give it to him, who are prepared to trade for him. One of those teams, potentially, is up the coast in Golden State.”

Before getting into all the reasons to like George’s on-paper fit with the Warriors—and there are many—let’s get a couple worries out of the way.

Age and injuries have been major concerns for this core, and acquiring George would only up the anxiety. He turned 34 in May. He played fewer than 60 games in four of the past five seasons. Had he delivered a clean bill of health lately, he’d probably have his desired deal in L.A. already.

And yet, none of that should dissuade the Dubs. Not if they’re still hoping to construct a contender around Stephen Curry, at least.

Golden State has struggled to put a capable co-star alongside Curry ever since Kevin Durant left town in 2019.

Injuries have eroded Klay Thompson’s defensive versatility and offensive consistency. Draymond Green has grown increasingly unreliable. Andrew Wiggins looked the part of a championship-level sidekick during the 2022 postseason, but he hasn’t found that form since. Jonathan Kuminga broke out in a big way over the second half of this season, but expecting him to serve as a champion’s second-best player would be asking a ton of the 21-year-old.

For George, though, there are no hang-ups—not so long as he stays healthy, at least. This past season, he snagged the ninth All-Star selection of his storied career while pumping in 22.6 points per game, shooting a career-high 41.3 percent of three and playing his signature brand of stingy defense.

His credentials remain elite, and his game is among the most easy to fit of all the Association’s top stars.

He is equally comfortable and capable playing on or off the ball. He can carry an offense in stretches, operating as anything from a shotmaker and creator to a quick-processing playmaker and downhill attacker. He can also thrive as an off-ball shooter with one of the league’s most fiery three-balls. And no matter how heavy his offensive workload is, he always brings energy, awareness and switch-friendly versatility to the defensive end.

He shines both under the spotlight and in support of a brighter star. He can find his footing without stepping on anyone’s toes and then repeat that process over the course of an 82-game campaign. He is, in a sense, a turbo-charged version of how Wiggins was during that championship run and not all that dissimilar from the type of two-way star they hope Kuminga one day becomes.

Speaking of Kuminga, by the way, he’s a big reason why George could be much more of a realistic target than a pipe dream. The Warriors are in no hurry to move Kuminga, but they might make that concession if “he’s needed in a trade package for an All-NBA player,” HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported.

And Kuminga is far from all Golden State has to offer. The Warriors have spawned a small stable of intriguing up-and-comers, like Brandin Podziemski, Trayce Jackson-Davis and Moses Moody. They have multiple future first-round picks to dangle as sweeteners. And they could make the money work with hefty salaries tied to Chris Paul (his would need guaranteeing ahead of a trade) and Andrew Wiggins.

George feels obtainable, provided the Clippers don’t cave to his demands. That has to interest the Warriors, who should have some level of championship hopes as long as Curry is around but need a difference-maker like George to help make them a reality.

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