According to local reporter Raj Sharan, who was quoting ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski from SportsCenter this morning, the Indiana Pacers ultimately turned down a three-team deal for Paul George that included Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris:
Woj on SportsCenter: Pacers turned down a 3-team deal for Paul George that would've included Gary Harris. #Nuggets— Raj Sharan (@Raj_Sharan) July 1, 2017
While at this point we don’t know any other details, this proposed trade was likely to be the one also involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were trying to obtain George from Indiana with hopes of being able to compete with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. This deal also likely would have sent Cavs power forward to Denver, and Harris amongst other pieces to the Pacers.
The Pacers, of course, ended up settling on a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder that sent George out west to play with Russell Westbrook in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. With George gone now, that also likely ends the Nuggets pursuit of Kevin Love. It’s certainly interesting that Indiana turned down the offer that included Gary Harris as Harris is an Indiana native and was named Indiana Mr. Basketball in 2012, and that Harris represents a much higher upside than what the Pacers ultimately received.
Of course, there could have been other aspects of the proposed deal that caused Indiana to balk at the offer, or there could have been an entirely separate reason altogether.
From the Nuggets perspective, it is very interesting that they were willing to part with Harris in order to obtain Kevin Love, which does reflect on the earlier report from ESPN that Denver has made upgrading at power forward an offseason priority. It is also appears that only Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are the untouchables on Denver’s roster when it comes to trade. Harris had a career year in 2016-2017, shooting 42% from three and averaging 14.9 points per game. He certainly looks to be an integral part of the Nuggets young core and as an elite cutter fits in perfectly alongside Jokic.
Either way, the Nuggets were left without a trade partner once again as they try to make a big splash this offseason. Now the focus remains on free agents Paul Millsap and George Hill instead.
UPDATE: According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the offer the Nuggets gave Indiana was Gary Harris, Trey Lyles and a protected first round pick:
The Pacers, Cavs, and Nuggets on Friday resuscitated a three-way deal that would have sent George to Cleveland and Kevin Love to Denver, according to several league sources. The Pacers could have had a package centered around Gary Harris, Trey Lyles, and a protected first-round pick, sources say. The Cavs, Nuggets, and Celtics were stunned when news of the trade broke on Twitter.
Another interesting development given that Trey Lyles also played high school ball in Indiana, and that this offer included a pick as well.
Lowe also indicated that these teams had been talking off and on for weeks. For Denver, picking up Trey Lyles on draft night could very well have been part of the plan to try and include him in this deal. Alas, it did not work out.
Should the Nuggets have included Gary Harris in trade offers?
This poll is closed
Yes - you have to sacrifice to move the needle
No! He is an integral part of the future
It depends on what the return is
Other - will comment below