Alec Burks details how Paul George trade led to Warriors signing
OAKLAND – The trade sent shockwaves seemingly everywhere. The Clippers became NBA contenders. The Lakers have a backdoor rival. The Thunder appeared on the verge of beginning a rebuilding project.
When the Thunder traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, the deal did not just ensure Kawhi Leonard would commit to the Clippers. Nor did it ensure the Thunder to acquire Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and a boatload of draft picks.
It also prompted Alec Burks to opt out of his verbal agreement with the Thunder, a decision that Burks said Oklahoma City considered “mutual.” Burks then agreed to a one-year veteran’s minimum deal with the Warriors.
“Kudos to the Thunder man. They were honest with me about the decisions and where they were going in the future,” Burks said on Friday at the Warriors’ practice facility. “They let me reevaluate my situation. Here we are today.”
Burks had considered the Warriors as his second free-agency choice. He chose the Thunder instead for obvious reasons. The Thunder still boasted two All-Stars with Russell Westbrook and George. Once the Thunder dealt George, though, Burks sensed immediately Oklahoma City would part with another All-Star soon. On Thursday, the Thunder traded Westbrook to Chris Paul, a pair of future first-round picks (2024, 2026) and pick swaps (2021, 2025).
“I knew something was probably going to happen,” Burks said. “I wasn’t sure. Who knows. I was part of that.”
Burks was indirectly part of the free agency dominoes, though. Not only did George’s departure affect his future. So did the Warriors’ identity shift.
Kevin Durant left for Brooklyn. Klay Thompson is expected to be through at least December, if not more, because of an injured ACL in his left knee. The Warriors traded veteran Andre Iguodala to Memphis to clear cap space stemmed from the D-Angelo Russell sign-and-trade.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports