Could the Knicks have a shot at trading for Clippers star Paul George?

Los Angeles Clipper forward Paul George (13) dribbles the ball against New York Knicks shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Former New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry has been increasingly vocal recently about player movement in the NBA. In his latest string of comments, Perry came out and called for the Knicks to trade for a lengthy and versatile combo forward. Could he have been insinuating a deal for Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Paul George?

Do the Knicks Need a Forward Like Paul George?

According to Jonah Morgan of Fan Nation, George could be the latest marquee player to enter the Knicks’ star chase as he referenced this quote from Perry on the Michael Kay Show:

“I think they need a player that can create some more offense off the dribble for himself and for his teammates, some size and some defensive versatility,” Perry, who parted ways with the Knicks earlier this year, said. “When teams do decide to go small, that size and length do matter, especially when it gets to playoffs, and I think it could also be very helpful too for a guy like Jalen Brunson, now you got bigger people at the two and the three, to go with Julius and Mitchell Robinson, then you can see what you have.”

Perry did not name names, but Morgan mentioned George next to Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby. The latter has been on the rumor report for over a season, but as for George, he has not seen much news surface regarding Clippers management wanting to shop him.

A player of George’s mold is the quintessence of what the Knicks do need. Standing at 6-foot-8 with the ability to play three positions, George possesses the size, mobility, range, and All-Defensive prowess that would solve a scarcity the Knicks have at power forward and gift them with a fringe MVP-caliber player who can wear many hats.

Particularly, George is exceptional at creating space off of the dribble and finding quick and easy ways to get up shots in isolation. This is a key area that the Knicks could use more of as they sport the second-lowest pace in the league and struggle to find a variation in their offense, though improving.

What it Would Take to Get George or a Player of His Stock

The Knicks’ chances of acquiring George could increase as the Clippers have not gelled since the acquisition of former MVP James Harden. Trading for George would more than likely require giving up Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and a wealth of picks. If he becomes available, a player of his caliber would be worth an inquiry.

The Knicks have also been tied to Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves), and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) as elite targets. New York has a roster that can compete in the East, but they may need more to unseat the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks come playoff time.

Barrett’s profile is rising while Randle’s has taken a dip in 2023. That could create for a ripe opportunity to surround Jalen Brunson with a new ensemble of elite talent next to him.

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