Amico: Cavs should monitor George situation in OKC

Paul George signed a four-year contract to remain with the Thunder in July.

CLEVELAND — Things haven’t gone great early in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are struggling.

Granted, they’re not terrible, and they certainly deserve more time with their new Big Three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

But when you’re the Thunder, time is of the essence. After all, George can become a free agent at the end of the season. It’s the entire reason he’s in OKC — the Indiana Pacers feared they would lose George for nothing. So they shipped him off to the Thunder.

At the time of the trade, the fear was George would leave at the end of the season for the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s a real fear, and the Lakers were even fined for tampering in an ordeal centered on George.

That fear remains the same for the Thunder. They run the risk of losing George for nothing in free agency.

Before trading George to OKC, Indiana had a deal worked out with the Cavs. It would’ve sent George to Cleveland. The Pacers backed out. They traded George to the Thunder instead.

So far, George and the Thunder appear to be an iffy proposition. They are gambling that George will want to remain beyond this season. If not, it will be a major loss.

The Cavs? They’re all about the right here and right now, trying to win another championship while the window exists.

George is a 6-foot-9 small forward who can do it all. He is averaging 20 points and six rebounds for the Thunder.

“From a strategy point, if I were the Cavs, I’d keep an eye on the George situation,” NBA insider Brian Windhorst said on ESPN Cleveland radio.

Well, guess what? The Cavs most likely are doing precisely that.


Of course, the Cavs are hardly in dire straights. They have won nine straight following Tuesday’s 108-97 dismantling of the Miami Heat.

They still don’t have a healthy Isaiah Thomas (or Tristan Thompson or Derrick Rose, for that matter). So the Cavs are just now starting to figure it out after a rugged start. Maybe they don’t want to mess with success.

But maybe they do. Maybe they would be willing to do exactly that, if getting another star makes sense, and if getting that star is relatively pain-free.

In fact, the Cavs are more than willing, more than able, and more than exploring adding to the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Love and the rest of the current cast.

They may not have their sights set on George or any one man. Still, they are constantly investigating.

It’s true that landing George many not be so easy, at least not yet. But perhaps the Cavs can convince the Thunder that someone such as Thompson would be a better fit.

After all, a lot of times in the NBA, it is indeed all about fit. As we are seeing with the Thunder, it’s not always about pure star power.

Or maybe the Cavs could get a third team involved. In the NBA, if you want a guy badly enough, there are ways to get him.

And if the Thunder continue down their current path, the avenues to George will undoubtedly be easier to travel.

The Cavs, without question, will travel those avenues again if the opportunity presents itself — and quite honestly, it just might.

7 Comments on "Amico: Cavs should monitor George situation in OKC"

  1. Sam, you say the Cavs are definitely exploring adding to LBJ, KL etc but I see two major problems before any move is made. 1. Is LBJ staying or going? and 2. The Cavs massive salary cap problem, as they are already committed to a bit more than $120 million for next season to begin with, and that’s before any thought of re=signing IT who is also out of contract next season or Jeff Green, who based on this year’s performances, deserves an upgrade above a veteran minimum salary if he is to remain a Cavs player.

    That said, none of the names that the Cavs are constantly linked to in PG13, Boogie, and more recently Marc Gasol or Deandre Jordan make any sense unless the likes of TT, Shump, JR are all traded away to acquire. Again, first and foremost, IMO anyway, the Cavs appear to be stuck between a rock and a hard place until LBJ lets the organisation and Koby Altman know whether he is staying or going. Then, there is also the recent talk of Philly wanting to make a major play for LBJ.

  2. PG13 is poor man’s KD35 (A really poor man’s, though).
    With all his excellence, will it make basketball or business sense to give up the Nets’ pick for half season of him, unless the Cavs get a firm commitment from Lebron?
    TT and Cavs’ own first rounder might be all I would part with for him. TT might be a good fit there as PF with Melo as SF.
    My main concern is that IT-PG-LBJ might make Cavs similar to RW-PG-Melo – Isoballing disaster.

  3. Now that he’s been in OKC I’ve really cooled on PG13. Does he really fit in to what we have? I guess we could move LBJ to the 4 unless you envision him playing in JR’s spot. I would rather use my assets to go after D’Andre Jordan if he becomes available. I still think PG (like LBJ) may have 1 foot out the door back to LA. I would require him to sign an extension before giving up any assets for a rental.

  4. Replacing Jae Crowder with Paul George in the starting lineup sounds pretty good. Still trading Thompson would be a pretty big risk given Love’s injury history.

  5. I think love for PG is the best route. Kevin love doesn’t fit against the better teams, especially against the warriors. George is a better fit, better defender, and better scorer. Every time against the warriors love has been the weak link. Go get a big who can rebound and trade love for George. There’s a reason they tried to trade Kevin love all summer

    • Brandon Teel | December 1, 2017 at 11:58 am |

      Love just isn’t a very good center if Cleveland had a real center Love could go back outside and his bad defense inside or getting burnt from the perimeter it wouldn’t be such an issue. Love can give the Cavs a lift in scoring especially with guys like JR and Crowder struggling so much with scoring you can’t put it all on LeBron until IT comes back with the first unit. Even if they add another superstar like Goerge the Cavs would still have no interior protection which as you’ve seen makes it to easy for teams to get inside and score. If they could pull off a three team trade to bring in Goerge and grab a center all together plus burn some contracts like TT Shumpert Frye then I’m all for it. Goege would be nice but at what cost? I would consider a center above all else at the moment.

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