Every off-season, there’s always a couple of big names who are on the brink of wanting out of their respective teams. This year, that guy is LA Clippers All-Star Paul George, and it’s presumably crucial.

The 34-year-old is on a player option entering the last year of his four-year, $176.2 million contract, and he’s set to make $48.7M should he opt in for the 2024-25 season (he has until June 30th to decide). While it’s huge money, he naturally wants to secure more by getting one last payday. That, reportedly, is where the disconnect between the two parties happens.


Here’s what Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer said:

“The Clippers can offer [Paul George] a four-year, $221 million deal. However, they haven’t been willing to offer more than the three years, $152.3 million they gave Kawhi Leonard. The problem is George wants a four-year deal. The Sixers and other squads can offer four years and around $212 million.”

There’s a lot to unpack there. We have to remember that while PG is still a three-level scorer with great athleticism and elite defense, the aforementioned age is something that the Clippers front office is reasonably weary about. The deal he’s looking for will have him locked until he’s 38 years old, and that sounds even more concerning when you note that George has had a bevy of injuries.

Also, if the rumors were to be believed, it’s clear that the Clipps are saying they are prioritizing Kawhi Leonard and other needs over George. Remember that they also got head coach Tyronn Lue a five-year, $70 million extension just this May, and brought in renowned veteran coach Jeff Van Gundy to be the lead assistant, fresh-off a senior advisor role with the NBA champion Boston Celtics. You can only imagine how all of that can affect PG’s mindset.

Then again, maybe it’s time to move on? After all, the Leonard-George tandem could only show one giant collapse and a string of bad luck in the postseason in five seasons together. The energy and upside simply isn’t there anymore. Sometimes, teams and players just need a change in scenery.

The assumed top choices are said to be the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks, both of which are intriguing. Going to Philly will team him up with 2023 MVP Joel Embiid and budding star in Tyrese Maxey, while joining the red-hot New York Knicks, will mix him up with a scrappy bunch with Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Josh Hart and HC Tom Thibodeau, an aggressive defensive coach that fits George.

The Golden State Warriors have an outside chance too, but since it may need to be some sort of trade for 39-year-old Chris Paul, who’s owed $30M next season, it doesn’t sound promising, at least for now.

In any case, we’ll soon see how powerful the Paul George “domino” really is. We may be in for another soap opera-esque free agency in the NBA. PG has numbers to make his bid as he averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game this season, and was named an All-Star for the ninth time.