Paul George revealed that he briefly considered staying with the Indiana Pacers to create a powerhouse and win multiple titles, he said to Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles of the Knuckleheads podcast. He also mentioned a conversation where he told management that "the best power forward wants to come play here."
The Pacers were at crossroads in 2017 after recently trading away George Hill and Danny Granger. George grew frustrated with the front office’s decisions. He hinted that one prominent name was prepared to team up with George prior to his trade to the Thunder.
“I ain’t gon’ say the names because I’m going to keep their business private, I’ma just say it like this," George said on the podcast. "I had at the time, the best power forward saying he wanted to come to Indy and team up with me."
The problem, George said, was that Indiana was not willing to pay out to get the player. and the risk was too high.
“They’re like, ‘we’re a mid-major, we’re a small market, like, we can’t do it, we’re a small market, we can’t afford that,’” George said. “I’m like the best power forward wants to come play here, like, y’all can’t make that work? They didn’t want to do it.”
Instead, the Pacers chose to pursue someone that George felt was a worse option, and he was not comfortable with it.
George said he contacted his agent shortly after that conversation and requested a trade. He ultimately landed at the Oklahoma City Thunder after seven seasons with the Pacers.