‘Thibs might hate having him’: NBA exec unsure if Paul George would fit on Knicks

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2023 offseason, the New York Knicks were reportedly in talks with the Los Angeles Clippers about a potential Paul George deal. The Knicks decided not to trade for the star forward, as they did not want to give him a contract extension.

A year later, New York has been mentioned as a possible landing spot again for George.

While his talents and two-way abilities could mesh well with the Knicks’ current roster, George seems to be an odd fit alongside coach Tom Thibodeau, whose affinity for hard-working guys has been well-documented over the years. An Eastern Conference executive discussed the potential partnership but noted how Thibodeau might not like having him on the roster.

“He would be on their list to at least look at what the cost is if he is on the market again,” the executive told Heavy Sports of George. “He makes sense just as a player with size and versatility and scoring ability, he would be a fit. So yeah, if he is on the market, they would look at it again.

“But his approach, I don’t know. You see it. I think Thibs might hate having him as a Knick.”

The nine-time All-Star is on his way to an uncertain offseason after the Clippers got bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks. He had an uneven series, putting up just 19.5 points per game and failing to make up for the absence of Kawhi Leonard, who appeared in just two games against the Mavs.

On the other hand, the Knicks have made it to the second round, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers and overcoming strong performances from Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

The idea of George being shipped to New York in the offseason might be intriguing, especially after the team ranked just 19th in points per game in the 2023-24 regular season. Despite a disappointing postseason, the 34-year-old star still recorded 22.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest in the regular season.

But as the anonymous exec mentioned, George might not be able to get in Thibodeau’s good graces.

It is worth noting, though, that the six-time All-NBA selection has experience playing under the two-time Coach of the Year when they represented Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.

It remains to be seen if George ends up becoming a target for the Knicks this summer or if he even leaves the Clippers. Multiple NBA sources expect him to re-sign with L.A. as it moves into its new arena starting in the 2024-25 season.

Share This Article
Orel's passion for sports stems from following Michael Jordan’s last title runs with the Chicago Bulls and his namesake Orel Hershiser’s Cleveland Indians tenure in the late 1990s.