76ers Reportedly Targeting Paul George This Offseason

Paul George

In a calculated gamble to maximize their cap space, the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly setting their sights on a major acquisition this summer, with Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers emerging as a primary target. This possible move was highlighted on “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” where Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggested that the Sixers believe there’s a “real chance” they could secure George.

Sixers Searching For Winning Formula

The Sixers’ interest in George follows their decision to trade James Harden to the Clippers last November, bringing back an unprotected first-round draft pick for 2028. This was part of a broader strategy by Sixers president Daryl Morey, known for his aggressive and often immediate approach to reshaping the team’s capabilities. By moving Harden, Morey has allowed rising star Tyrese Maxey to flourish as the team’s primary point guard, a decision that paid dividends with Maxey’s All-Star performance this season.

Despite Maxey’s breakout and Joel Embiid‘s consistent excellence, the Sixers faced a disappointing first-round exit in the playoffs against the New York Knicks. The series underscored the team’s urgent need for a reliable third star to complement Maxey and Embiid. Aside from Kelly Oubre Jr., no other Sixer averaged over 10 points per game in the postseason, highlighting the critical need for additional scoring and playmaking. The Sixers aim to bolster their roster and enhance their championship prospects by targeting George.

Luring George Out of L.A.

Paul George, who turned 34 in May, faces a pivotal decision regarding his $48.8 million player option with the Clippers for the upcoming season. He can stay with the Clippers and potentially sign a lucrative four-year, $221 million deal. Conversely, if he chooses to leave, the maximum contract he could secure from another team would be $212.2 million over four years. This financial reality sets the stage for what could be a transformative offseason move for both George and the pursuing Sixers.

The Clippers, however, have been cautious, reportedly unwilling to extend George beyond the three-year, $153 million deal that Kawhi Leonard secured, considering Leonard as their prime asset. Leonard’s recent health issues—playing in only a fraction of the postseason games since 2021—might influence George’s decision. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Leonard, George’s performance remains elite, evidenced by his average of 22.6 points and an impressive 41.3 percent three-point shooting this season.

Under Daryl Morey’s direction, the Sixers could potentially create up to $65 million in cap space by renouncing all free agents except Maxey. With Maxey likely to sign a max extension, Philadelphia could feasibly add George on a max deal while retaining an $8 million midlevel exception to further bolster their roster. This financial flexibility could be a game-changer in their pursuit of a championship-caliber team. Morey’s aggressive approach aims to reshape the team’s capabilities, filling the critical need for additional scoring and playmaking evident in their disappointing first-round playoff exit against the New York Knicks. The addition of George could provide the reliable third star necessary to complement Maxey and Embiid and enhance their championship prospects.

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