"I wouldn't necessarily agree with that because that would infer that we were wanting to trade Paul George, which I think most people would agree that that probably wasn't on the top of our offseason priority list," Presti told reporters Friday.
The Clippers sent four unprotected first-round picks (2021 via Miami, 2022, 2024, and 2026), one protected first-round pick (2023), the right to swap two draft picks in 2023 and 2025, forward Danilo Gallinari and point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the Thunder for George on July 6.
George called the trade process collaborative when the Clippers introduced him earlier this week. He said the trade was a "mutual thing between both of us that the time was up and we both had ideas of doing things differently."
George averaged 28 points and 8.2 rebounds in 77 games with the Thunder last season. He requested a trade so he could team up with Kawhi Leonard, who signed a three-year deal with the Clippers earlier this month.
"I wouldn't say that we were going to appease the request simply because it was made, but more than anything, it was because of the fact that we were able to get the return that we did, which then allowed us to accommodate what he was looking for, as well," Presti said.
George has two years and $68 million remaining on his contract. He also has a $37.8 million player option for the 2021-22 season.
"He would have had one year left on his contract at that point in time, and although we may have had more time to plan, I don't think we were going to be in a position to be able to recoup the value that we were able to in that particular situation," Presti said.