The Knicks have been linked to Clippers star Paul George, leading many fans to believe that PG13 will be on New York’s roster to start the 2023-24 season. That talk was amplified during free agency when the Knicks made only one signing, bringing in guard Donte DiVincenzo after trading Obi Toppin.
George has two full seasons left on his current contract, but the second year is a $48.8 million player option that he could decline to become a free agent next summer. Similar to the Josh Hart situation, if the Knicks were to proceed with trading for George, the front office would have to be confident that George wanted to be in New York long-term. That’s where part of the issue lies.
The 33-year-old’s biggest red flag isn’t only his availability, as he hasn’t played in more than 56 games since Los Angeles traded for him in 2019, but his contract situation has also been a problem for the Knicks.
Knicks reportedly no longer interested in trading for Paul George due to contract extension
Paul George is eligible to sign a max extension this offseason that’s worth up to $220 million over four years. The Knicks could trade for him and sign him to an extension this summer to prevent him from entering free agency in 2024.
According to Alan Hahn, trade talks between New York and Los Angeles have ceased because George wants an extension and it’d be too “expensive” for the Knicks to work that out.
There are fans out there that are frustrated that New York has yet to trade for a star, but the Knicks pulling out of George trade talks is another sign of competence by the front office. New York would already be taking a risk by meeting LA’s demands in a trade for a player that has a long injury history, so committing that much money to George this offseason would easily set the Knicks back.
New York can’t afford to have another star that doesn’t show up in the playoffs, as George missed the Clippers’ first-round series this year against the Suns with a knee injury. As impatient as fans may be for a star, the Knicks made the right decision in pulling out of the running (for now) for Paul George.