The top two available players at this season's trade deadline were Paul George and Jimmy Butler, two star wings on middling teams that would almost certainly be better off rebuilding.
Teams that have a boatload of young and future assets -- the Sixers, Celtics and Lakers -- were connected to George and Butler but no agreements were reached.
Thanks to Liberty Ballers, we now know a little bit more about the Sixers' offer.
According to the website, the Sixers offered the Pacers at least two first-round picks, Robert Covington and a young big (either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor) for George.
The Sixers have at least three extremely valuable future draft picks: their own 2017 pick, the Kings' unprotected 2019 first-rounder, and a pick from the Lakers, which is top-three protected this year and unprotected next year.
Say the Sixers traded the Pacers Noel, Covington, the Lakers pick and Kings pick. It would have left them with a nucleus of George, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and whomever they take in the upcoming draft.
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Not bad, not bad at all.
But also not enough to land George, apparently.
George, who grew up in Palmdale, California, and went to school at Fresno State, has been connected often to the Lakers. He's also made it clear he doesn't want to be traded to a team that depletes itself to acquire him -- think the Knicks and Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony.
The thing is, to acquire a player of George's caliber, the Sixers would be forfeiting significant assets without a guarantee that he re-signs when his contract expires after the 2018-19 season. Probably not worth it, especially considering the Cavaliers' current championship window in the East will last at least two more years.
But the Paul George trade talks aren't dead. Indiana will likely listen to offers again this offseason and possibly next trade deadline.
There are few teams positioned to land a big fish like George and the Sixers are one of them. One major reason for maintaining salary cap flexibility and acquiring so many high draft picks is to parlay them into a superstar when the opportunity arises.
George's standing in the NBA has dropped ever-so-slightly the last few years and he is unlikely to make any of the three all-NBA teams, behind forwards LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Anthony Davis (unless Davis is counted as a center).
But he's still obviously a superstar, one who also contributes at the defensive end. He's the kind of player you go all-in for when the timing is right.