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Kawhi Reportedly Tried to Get Paul George on the Spurs Back in the Day

(FromR) Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, US basketball players Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank pose during the introduction of Leonard and George as the new players of the Los Angeles Clippers during a press conference in Los Angeles on July 24, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty Images

You have to give credit to Kawhi Leonard and his camp -- the public only knows what the Finals MVP wants them to know. Case in point: did you have any idea that the Klaw once pitched current Clippers teammate Paul George on joining him in San Antonio a while back?

Leonard revealed in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols that he tried to get Paul George to join him in San Antonio back in 2017. George requested to be traded from the Indiana Pacers and ended up spending two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The amount of "what if's" to come out of a George-Leonard pairing in San Antonio is dizzying: Would they both still be on the Spurs now? Would Leonard have played more than nine games during the 2017-18 season? Would the Warriors have won the 2018 championship? What if Westbrook had wanted out of OKC sooner?

Looking at the 2017-18 San Antonio roster, a package for George would likely have had to include LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray, alongside role players and draft assets. Then again, Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis -- the players who were actually traded for George -- had relatively low stock at the time, causing NBA fans to believe the Pacers got fleeced in the deal.

Leonard perhaps wouldn't have made his dramatic trade demand two seasons ago if he had a guy like PG with him, and perhaps the biggest loser in this hypothetical scenario is the Toronto Raptors. Hate to say it, Raptors fans, but no Kawhi, no title.

The Thunder would still have Russell Westbrook coming off an MVP campaign, but without a second superstar, OKC would continue to be a middle-of-the-road team when it comes to the pecking order in the West.

We don't know for sure how a Spurs tandem of George and Leonard would work out, but at least we get to see the two together in Los Angeles for the next few years. It will have been worth the wait.