George wanted Pacers to trade him to Spurs in 2017

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Nearly a decade after the 2011 draft-day swap that saw the Indiana Pacers select Kawhi Leonard at No. 15, then immediately reroute him to the San Antonio Spurs as part of a package for George Hill, Leonard and former Pacers standout Paul George have finally united as teammates on the Los Angeles Clippers.

That union would have happened sooner if George had his top choice of destinations when he was angling for a trade out of Indiana in 2017.

"I wanted to be traded to San Antonio," the talented two-way wing told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "We wanted to go to San Antonio first, and we didn't make that happen."

George was positioned to depart the Pacers as a free agent, prompting the team to trade him to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a year left on his contract.

Meanwhile, the Spurs appeared primed to continue their two-decade reign as Western Conference heavyweights. Tim Duncan retired after the 2015-16 season, but Leonard assumed the role of franchise pillar, making a pair of All-Star appearances and earning a Finals MVP trophy for his part in the Spurs' 2014 title run.

The Pacers and Spurs did discuss potential moves at the time, but the latter organization didn't have the assets to pull off a blockbuster deal for George, a league source told Youngmisuk.

Leonard's relationship with the Spurs ultimately frayed, leading to his trade to the Toronto Raptors in 2018. After winning the 2019 championship with his new team, the 28-year-old signed with the Clippers as a free agent. Minutes after Leonard's deal was reported, it became apparent that George would join him via trade from the Thunder.

George wanted Pacers to trade him to Spurs in 2017
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