After a pair of blockbuster deals this off-season, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George will team up with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook as part of the NBA’s newest “Big 3” on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to Anthony, however, he and George were nearly part of different powerhouse trio.
The star forward said during a Sirius XM interview on Thursday that there was a draft-night deal in place to send the pair to the Cleveland Cavaliers to play alongside LeBron James, but the trade was ultimately nixed.
“Me and P.G. have a very close friendship. Actually, it was funny because me and P.G. was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night. We were communicating about that,” Anthony said in the interview, as reported by ESPN’s Ian Begley. “The deal was actually done and it got called off on draft night, so me and P.G. stayed connected throughout the course of the season.”
Of course, Anthony and George ultimately ended up joining forces in Oklahoma. The former was traded by New York this past weekend, while the latter was sent to OKC on June 30.
Anthony also admitted in the same interview that there was another trade that fell through before the eventual deal to the Thunder came to fruition.
“A deal was done with Houston early, then for some reason whatever happened behind the scenes it didn’t go through; it fell through then we had to really start paying attention and thinking about other options.”
Anthony said that he was prepared to return to New York for Knicks media day on Monday before getting a call about expanding his list of teams to include Oklahoma City.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, at this point yeah.’ I don’t think it would have been beneficial for me to come back to media day after everything that was going on in the off-season,” Anthony said via Begley. “For me to have to deal with that it would have been unfair for the organization, the Knicks, to have to deal with that.
“It would have been too much noise, too many questions to answer and I don’t think either party wanted to deal with that.”
Ironically enough, the Knicks will have to deal with Anthony very soon as New York opens its 2017-18 season against the Thunder on Oct. 19 in Oklahoma City.