While the Los Angeles Lakers were believed to be Paul George's preferred destination when he requested a trade from the Indiana Pacers in 2017, the San Antonio Spurs were also on his list.
"I wanted to be traded to San Antonio," George said. "We wanted to go to San Antonio first, and we didn't make that happen."
A source confirmed the Spurs and Pacers held discussions, but San Antonio lacked the assets necessary to acquire George.
The Lakers decided not to deal the second overall pick in 2017 and Brandon Ingram for George as they believed they could eventually sign him in free agency.
George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, re-signed with the franchise in 2018 and was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019.
"As far as the Lakers, I wanted to go to L.A.," George said. "They didn't make that happen. They didn't put nothing together. So that's in the back of my mind [when I became a free agent]. That was in the back of my mind."
George and Leonard still wanted to play together.
"Since that moment, we were trying to pair up with one another," George said. "We were trying to make it work. [After being traded to Oklahoma City] I had obligations that I wanted to come back to Oklahoma and give it another shot... And then I felt that I needed to move on, I needed to go in another direction and I needed to at that point do what I wanted to do my whole career."