Done Deal: Golden State Warriors star player just signed a contract worth $48.8 million with the….

Paul George Trade ‘Prioritized’ amidst Klay Thompson rumors for the Warriors Buzz Around NBA Contracts
NBA insider Marc Stein has been informed by sources that the Golden State Warriors have “prioritized” pursuing Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers and other targets over settling on a new contract with Warriors veteran Klay Thompson.

The trade pursuits have, according to Stein, “only widening the gulf between the sides” in the Thompson negotiation.

George can exercise his $48.8 million player option with the Clippers until this Saturday.

If Thompson and Golden State cannot come to an agreement on a new contract by Sunday, the 11-year Warriors player will enter free agency for the second time in his career.

The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Anthony Slater also reported Friday that the Warriors “have legitimate interest in making George part of their new core alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green.”

The Warriors want to make another title run with Curry, and George “appears to be the most plausible star player left in play” amid reports that Jimmy Butler will return for another season with the Miami Heat, Amick and Slater wrote.

If the Warriors want to make a sign-and trade agreement to acquire George, however, the deal could be costly.

Amick and Slater reported that the Denver Nuggets tried to arrange a similar trade and were faced with the prospect of giving George a four-year max contract while also giving up “Michael Porter Jr., Zeke Nnaji and a significant amount of draft capital.”

If the Warriors believe George is the missing piece that could help Curry and Green lead the team on a title run, a price that steep could be worth it.

Major Paul George to New York Knicks Update Before NBA Free Agency

Making that deal would likely mean closing the door on the possibility of Thompson returning, however.

The Warriors are reportedly willing to offer George the max deal, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. With Warriors owner Joe Lacob saying in February that the team would like to avoid the luxury tax if possible, it seems impossible that the team would both be able to acquire George and re-sign Thompson despite head coach Steve Kerr’s support of the veteran returning to San Francisco.

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