3 potential free-agency destinations for Clippers star Paul George

Los Angeles Clippers star forward Paul George is one of the most highly-anticipated free agents who could hit the market this offseason.

While Kawhi Leonard signed a three-year extension in January, the Clippers have yet to agree on an extension with George and he has a $48,787,676 player option for next season. Could the star duo could be headed for a split?

The 2024 NBA playoffs will have huge implications for what’s to come with George’s future, but there are a few teams who have him in their sights for next season. Let’s look at three potential destinations for the nine-time All-Star if he doesn’t return to Los Angeles.

Philadelphia 76ers

The most obvious landing spot for George is the Philadelphia 76ers. There have been rumblings all season long surrounding George and the Sixers, and things seem to be heating up. 

According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers’ biggest priority this offseason will be pursuing George should he become available. Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and George would become one of the best trios in the NBA, and it’s actually financially possible.

Philadelphia has been in a huge financial crisis over the last few years due to Tobias Harris’ enormous contract. As crazy as it sounds, Harris ($39,270,150) and George ($45,640,084) are earning pretty similar salaries. The Sixers have several large expiring contracts, including Harris, Buddy Hield ($19,279,841), Nicolas Batum ($11,710,818), Robert Covington ($11,692,308) and De’Anthony Melton ($8,000,000), so they’ll have cap flexibility this summer.

For around the same contract as Harris, George would be a huge upgrade at the forward position. Furthermore, with Maxey’s development and Embiid’s MVP-caliber play, George will have plenty of help and be able to contend for a championship. George as a third option is every team’s dream, and he would be just that in Philly. 

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Oklahoma City Thunder

If George doesn’t end up in Philadelphia, there may be a homecoming for him in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are already a top seed in the Western Conference and viewed as contenders, but adding George could make them the favorite in the West.

As talented as the Thunder are, they are a very young team and have a lot of cap space to work with. George would not only give them another star, but he’s also a veteran who could be very valuable to the team’s young locker room. 

It’s worth noting that OKC projects to have significant cap space this offseason, so pursuing George is a realistic possibility. 

The Thunder have been one of the most fun teams to watch on and off the court this year, and bringing in a star like George would turn them into a championship favorite over the next several years. 

Indiana Pacers

Oklahoma City isn’t the only potential reunion on this list. George created a name for himself while with the Pacers, winning the Most Improved Player award in 2013, earning three All-NBA nods, making four All-Star appearances and leading Indiana on six playoff runs. 

The Pacers are another team who could offer George a chance to contend for a championship, as he would pair nicely alongside Tyrese Haliburton and potentially Pascal Siakam (assuming he re-signs this offseason). 

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In January, NBA insider Marc Stein wrote that “PG-13’s old friends in Indiana believed to be interested in pursuing him.” A few days later, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports said that Haliburton and George “were intrigued, from my understanding, about the idea of playing together.” It’s worth noting that this was before the Pacers acquired Siakam from the Toronto Raptors, but perhaps the door isn’t completely shut on George to Indy.

The move wouldn’t be as simple as it would be for the Sixers or Thunder, as the Pacers have much less cap space and would have to get creative. Even so, George returning to Indiana isn’t out of the realm of possibility. 

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