After the Indiana Pacers agreed to trade Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis on June 30, Jason Quick of CSN NW reported that the Portland Trail Blazers offered a “better” package for the All-Star forward. An anonymous source has confirmed to Blazer’s Edge what that package was:
“All three of their first-round picks along with Pritchard's choice of any player off the current roster other than their Big-3.”
The Trail Blazers held picks 15, 20, and 26 in the 2017 NBA Draft. Their “Big-3” are widely regarded as Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic.
George, 27, has a player option for the 2018-19 season in his current contract. He can choose whether or not to exercise it next summer, potentially making himself an unrestricted free agent. Had the Trail Blazers successfully acquired him, they would likely have been launched into contention next season—a core of Lillard, McCollum, George, and Nurkic would be one of the youngest and most talented in the league—but retaining George would have been a huge question mark.
In the 2016-17 NBA season, George averaged a career-high 23.7 points per game, but was not selected for an All-NBA team. He remains one of the most highly coveted players in the league for his elite scoring ability and defense.