Carmelo Anthony: Cavaliers Trade Including Paul George Was Axed on Draft Night

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2017

Oklahoma City Thunder's Paul George (13), Russell Westbrook (0) and Carmelo Anthony (7) pose for photos during an NBA basketball media day in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony confirmed Thursday that there was a trade in place on the night of the NBA draft that would have resulted in both him and Paul George landing with the Cleveland Cavaliers

That deal was ultimately nixed. 

"Me and PG have a very close friendship," Anthony said during a SiriusXM interview, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. "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."

Instead, both Paul and Anthony ended up being dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder in separate deals. 

In July, Ramona Shelburne, Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets discussed a deal that would have sent George to Cleveland, Kevin Love to Denver and a package that included Gary Harris and Denver's No. 13 pick to Indiana. 

That deal ultimately fell through, however. 

Additionally, the Cavaliers had been linked to Anthony in trade rumors as far back as before last season's trade deadline. And Anthony's comments suggest the Cavs were extremely close to acquiring him over the summer. 

It wasn't the only deal that apparently almost went down. Anthony said on that same SiriusXM appearance that a trade that would have sent him to the Houston Rockets was also done but for "some reason...it didn't go through," (h/t Frank Isola of the New York Daily News).

Instead, the Thunder landed both George and Anthony to pair with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams, giving the team one of the best shots in the NBA to unseat the Golden State Warriors from their throne atop the NBA.

While there will be questions about how the trio will adjust to playing one another—will Anthony, for instance, adapt to his likely new role at the 4?—the Thunder have accumulated the best bunch of talent they've had since the Kevin Durant era.