There had been rumors. On the night of the NBA Draft there are more rumors than athletes mad at Donald Trump, but the past couple of years one seemed to have legs — the Cavaliers were looking to make a bold move, one that would have packed more stars around LeBron James (and likely sent Kevin Love out).
As with most rumors, they seemed to vaporize when the time came. But in Carmelo Anthony‘s interview with Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday night, Anthony confirmed he and Paul George almost ended up in Cleveland.
“Actually, it was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night. We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the season.”
Anthony seems to think a lot of deals were done that were not — he said the same thing about a trade to the Rockets this summer. We also know the Cavaliers thought they had a three-way trade that would have netted them PG near this draft (it fell apart over pick protection), although the that was with the Nuggets and the Pacers, there was no mention of the Knicks.
The reality is this is how trade talks often go: they gain a little momentum, they start to move toward reality, one side thinks there’s an offer that will get it done, then the other side doesn’t see it that way, or moves the goal posts, or just gets cold feet. It’s exponentially harder with a three-way trade.
It worked out that ‘Melo and PG are together with Russell Westbrook, on a team that has its sights set on conquering the Mount Everest that is Golden State. It’s an all-in, one-year experiment that will be fun to watch. But Anthony and George with LeBron might have been the biggest test for the Warriors. We’ll never know.