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Report: Cavaliers were close to trading for Paul George

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers - Game Four

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 23: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball against Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers in the first half of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs against at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 23, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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The Cavaliers were reportedly close to trading for Jimmy Butler.

He apparently wasn’t the only star to slip through Cleveland’s grasp this offseason.

Though their pursuit of Butler reportedly fell apart when they ousted general manager David Griffin before the draft, the Cavs stayed in the Paul George chase under interim general manager Koby Altman.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

Koby Altman was very close to a deal on June 30th for Paul George. It was so close, in fact, that Indiana was about to give permission to Paul George to get on the phone with Dan Gilbert. Indiana backed out of it and did the Oklahoma City deal.

The same caveat I gave with the Butler report applies here: Just because one team thought it was close to completing a trade doesn’t mean it was actually close.

Right or wrong (wrong), the Pacers accepted what they believed was their best offer. If they thought Cleveland’s offer was better than Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, the Pacers would have taken it.

Now, maybe a long-term general manager would’ve better finessed the deal – convincing Indiana that the Cavs’ offer was superior or adding the necessary ingredients. We can never know.

But more important than whether the Cavaliers actually were close to trading for George, it matters whether LeBron James thinks the Cavaliers were actually close and blew the opportunity. That’d be quite frustrating.