Report: Warriors, Knicks have trade interest in nine-time All-Star

Report: Warriors, Knicks have trade interest in nine-time All-Star originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

After missing the NBA playoffs last season for just the third time in 12 years, the Warriors are looking to make a big splash this offseason to significantly bolster their roster.

While it’s unclear what the outcome will be with Klay Thompson as the franchise star is set to hit free agency, one NBA insider believes Golden State could eye another NBA veteran superstar in the open market.

“I’m pretty sure that the Warriors are as interested in [Paul] George as the [New York] Knicks — maybe more,” NBC Sports contributor Marc Stein wrote in his latest substack.

Stein added there is “a growing feeling” league-wide that it is becoming increasingly realistic George will pick up his $48.8 million player option for next season to force the Los Angeles Clippers to trade him after months of “fruitless” contract extension negotiations.

George has until Saturday, one day before free agency begins, to decide whether or not to exercise his $48.8 million player option for the upcoming season.

The Warriors are “aggressively” exploring trade options, Stein reported, with veteran point guard Chris Paul at the center of those efforts. Golden State has until Friday to exercise or decline Paul’s $30 million team option for next season.

Along with Thompson, George has been among the big names associated with several teams interested in making a free-agency splash. If the team that lands him turns out to be Golden State, George’s former Clippers teammate Patrick Beverley certainly would be excited.

It’s hard to imagine Dub Nation doesn’t agree.

With Steph Curry and Draymond Green all under contract — along with coach Steve Kerr — the Warriors likely will maximize the next two seasons around their core, with or without Thompson. While there appears to be major upside with their youth, with players such as Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis on the rise, their focus could be on the now rather than the future.

That is why players such as George and Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, who both have been tied to Golden State this offseason, could make sense for a talented yet mature team ready to win now. The team hasn’t expressed any desire to move on from any of its youth pieces as of now, but Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy weighed in on the possibility Monday during his pre-draft press conference.

“Everybody is making calls right now, whether it’s on future draft picks or current players,” Dunleavy said. “Everybody is trying to get better, and so everybody is exploring and asking. It’s good that the phones are ringing and there’s interest in our guys. That’s a good sign for kind of the level and quality that they are at.

“Doesn’t mean we are too engaged with it, though.”

NBA free agency is set to begin Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.

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