Would this proposed Paul George trade work for Knicks-Clippers?

New York Knicks, Paul George. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks, Paul George. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /

Believe it or not, there’s actually a star player that hasn’t been connected to the New York Knicks numerous times since the team was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. The Paul George trade speculation has been relatively quiet thus far, but that could change.

George wrapped up his fourth season with the Clippers averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 56 games while shooting 45.7% from the floor and 37.1% from three. That’s the highest number of games that he’s played in a single season since being traded to Los Angeles.

The 33-year-old is more of a forgotten star, which is largely because he can’t seem to stay healthy. He missed the Clippers’ first round of the playoffs against the Suns with a knee sprain. With LA struggling to keep both George and Kawhi Leonard on the floor, the Clippers could decide to make George one of the most sought-after players on the trade market this summer.

George would automatically become a trade target for the Knicks if he were to be made available, and not only because he’s a star player. He’s represented by the CAA, which would be enough to spark the interest of Leon Rose.

Should Knicks consider Paul George trade if Clippers make him available?

FanSided’s Clippers site proposed a Paul George trade that would send him to New York and propel Los Angeles into rebuilding territory. Here’s a look at the deal:

Financially, this trade would work for both sides. The draft capital that the Knicks would send to the Clippers isn’t specified, but assuming that New York would part with multiple first-round picks sounds about right. But is this a deal that the Knicks should consider?

As mentioned earlier, George’s red flag is that he can’t stay on the floor. The last time that he played in at least 70 games in a single season was in his final year with the Thunder when he played in 77. Since then, George has played in 48, 54, 31, and 56 games. Assuming that George will be available for less than three-fourths of the season is more of a guarantee at this point.

To go with his injury history, he has only one full season left on his contract before having a $48.8 million player option for 2024-25. Sending Evan Fournier to LA wouldn’t hurt New York at all, but parting ways with RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes for only one guaranteed year of George would be a big risk to take, especially considering that he likely wouldn’t be available for the entirety of the 2023-24 season.

George’s talent is undeniable. However, given his age and injury issues, he isn’t the star that the Knicks need. Trading for him in theory would make New York a contender, but again, availability is the biggest ability. There’s a reason why his name isn’t being discussed more as a player that could potentially be traded this summer.

The Knicks would be better off keeping both Barrett and Grimes, although they would be good pieces for the Clippers to have in return for George. That still might not be enough for LA, though.

Yes, Paul George is a CAA player, but no, New York shouldn’t be interested in him if Los Angeles decides to tear things down.