The Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to NBC Sports Dan Feldman reportedly had a deal in place that would have sent current Celtics guard Kyrie Irving to Indiana in exchange for Paul George. Per NBC Sports, the transaction was set to take place around the 2017 NBA draft.
So the big question on everyone’s mind is why didn’t both sides just agree to the trade?
There were a lot of things happening in June of 2017:
Kyrie wasn’t happy in Cleveland and wanted out.
Around that same time, Paul George made the Pacers aware that he was leaving in free agency the following summer, and he would be looking to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Also, around this time the Cavaliers had to make a decision on general manager David Griffin contract, which was set to expire.
In June 2017, suspecting that Irving wanted out of Cleveland, Griffin had the framework of a deal done that not only would have brought Paul George to Cleveland from Indiana, but additional pieces from at least one other team in exchange for Irving and other Cavs.
But Griffin wanted to talk to Irving and his agent, Jeff Wechsler, before making the trade, and Irving’s camp wouldn’t take the meeting until Griffin had a new contract from the Cavs. When Griffin’s deal expired and he couldn’t come to an agreement with Gilbert, the deal he’d outlined for Irving died.
The deal for George ultimately, died because Cavs owner Dan Gilbert did not resign Griffin to a new contract after coming off an NBA Championship season the year before.
In 2017, Irving had two years left on his current contract, while George only had one year left. George would of have probably resigned because James most likely would have stayed with Paul in the fold. Instead, the Cavaliers decided to trade Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s 2018 first round pick (owned by Boston). The first round pick turned out to be Collin Sexton. Only Ante Zizic and Sexton are still on the Cavs’ roster.
As for Griffin, after the Cavaliers let him walk the New Orleans Pelicans hired him to be their GM after they dismissed Dell Demps and is now dealing with another disgruntled superstar that is Anthony Davis, who has made it known that he wants out of New Orleans.