Dan Gilbert mocked Pacers’ Paul George trade to Thunder: They ‘could’ve done better’

The Cavaliers held a press conference Wednesday to introduce new general manager Koby Altman, and the main discussion points involved Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. But there was an interesting moment when Altman was asked about a reported Paul George trade by Indiana.

Altman did his best to avoid answering the question directly, and instead opted for a broad response saying, I made 200 phone calls on draft night that weren’t reported on. We were very active. But when he was finished with his response, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert interjected.

The comment was so shocking, Altman couldn’t contain his laughter. After the broadcast aired, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst made a note of it as well.

I’m going to be honest with you, the thing that happened in this press conference that made my eyes go open the most was Dan Gilbert taking a shot at the Indiana Pacers for what they got for Paul George, saying openly, he thinks they could have done better, Windhorst said on air. That was a pretty shocking moment, that’s not something you’re going to see at too many press conferences.

Apparently the former UCLA star was Jackson’s attempted end game, according to longtime NBA analyst Peter Vecsey. He said as much on the HoopsHype podcast.

Phil was angling for to try to trade Porzingis for the the No. 1 pick to Boston, and he would have taken Ball, Vecsey said. That’s who he was after.

What was the plan after that, though? With Ball in the fold and Porzingis out of it, was the plan to trade Carmelo Anthony for a couple of other young contributors, or to buy out Anthony and use the money to pick up some lower-cost free agents?

That remains unclear, but what is clear is Jackson did have a plan even if it often looked like he didn’t. This trade didn’t work out, though, so we’re all left wondering ‘What if?’

Ball, of course, was eventually taken by the Los Angeles Lakers No. 2 overall and the Knicks took Ntilikina.

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