Paul George enters NBA free agency after opting out of Clippers’ contract

Will Paul George leave the Clippers? (yahoo.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Paul George just threw himself into this NBA off-season free agency craze after declining his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers confirmed on June 30, 2024.

It was ESPN’s veteran NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski who announced the major development, adding that George became the biggest name available in the free agency market.

Under his remaining player option contract, George is eligible to sign $48.7 million entering the next NBA season.

Negotiations between George’s camp and the Clippers started to take a hit after the organization signed Kawhi Leonard to a three-year $153 million extension last January which was below the deal’s maximum offer.

After the completed contract signing with Leonard, multiple reports confirmed that the Clippers intend to sign George to a similar deal this off-season.

According to The Athletic, George is planning to kick off the free agency with several team meetings involving the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic.

After a first-round exit during the recently concluded 2023-2024 NBA Playoffs, the 76ers are looking for another big name who can play with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

Despite the dominant numbers that the duo put up in the six-game series, Philadelphia still lost to a banged-up New York Knicks squad led by Jalen Brunson.

On the other hand, Orlando is coming off a promising season after halting its long NBA playoff drought. Although they lost against the more experienced Cleveland Cavaliers team led by Donovan Mitchell, the younger squad put up a fight and almost made it into the second round when they forced a do-or-die Game 7.

If the Clippers don’t grant George’s request for a maximum contract this off-season, expect not only the Magic and the 76ers to pursue such a big name in the free agency market.

This season, George averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in 74 total games he played in the regular season.

During the NBA Playoffs, George tallied 19.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game against the Dallas Mavericks.

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