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Los Angeles Clippers: NBA Analyst Proposes Blockbuster Trade

A top NBA insider proposed a blockbuster Paul George trade.

In January, the Los Angeles Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard to a 3-yr extension worth up to $152.7 million. More than 4 months later, fellow All-Star Paul George has yet to follow suit. George can become a free agent this summer by declining his $48.8 million player option for the 2024-25 season. He’s eligible to sign an extension with the Clippers until June 30. With several teams eyeing a serious offseason run at George, what’s next for the soon-to-be 34-year-old?

Los Angeles Clippers: Blockbuster Deal for PG13?

Despite the nine potential free agents the Clippers have to decide on this offseason, only one has dominated the headlines. Paul George — even in his mid-30s— is still an elite two-way player. A potential move will drastically impact the league’s landscape and provide a glimpse into the future of a franchise desperate for a new identity. 

President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank had been adamant about establishing continuity with the current state of the roster. But his comments during his exit interview perhaps reflected how the Clippers are feeling internally.

“It’s really hard when you fall far short of your goals,” Frank said. “Just disappointed for [the team], frustrated for our fans, frustrated for Steve [Balmer], you know, for Kawhi. We own it. There’s no excuses. The goal is to be the last team standing in June. Obviously, we [had] two wins and you got to get 16. So, there’s a lot of work to be done.”

With L.A. extending Leonard’s contract during the 2023-24 season, it’s starting to feel like George is the odd man out. This has prompted experts to pitch their ideas for the nine-time All-Star’s next destination. 

Paul George to New York?

When he arrived in L.A. 5 years ago, George envisioned an era of getting to the championship game and hosting the Larry O’Brien trophy. The Clippers haven’t won a title, let alone appeared in the NBA Finals with the duo of George and Leonard at the helm. Regardless of what the reasons were, L.A.’s run has been a failure. Now, there is potential for significant changes.

One expert suggested the Clippers move George to the New York Knicks.

“New York’s roster at full strength is deeper than that of Philadelphia, which needs to gut its own ranks to sign or trade for George,” said Bleacher Report’s Dan Fivale. “George has leverage over the Clippers, since he can threaten to leave for nothing if they don’t facilitate his relocation to a preferred destination. 

New York could feasibly exit this scenario, sending out Randle, Bogdanović, and maybe a pick or two. Randle has made strides to become more plug and play, but George’s offense is even more complementary and he keeps more in theme with the hyper-versatile lineups head coach Tom Thibodeau is currently leaning on.”

Given Julius Randle is several years younger than George, the move wouldn’t be a horrible one for L.A. The issue with Randle — like George -– has been his health and dependability in big games. Replacing George for Randle wouldn’t move the needle for the Clippers. With Leonard locked in for a few more years, L.A. needs to replace George with someone capable of producing consistent star numbers. Randle may not fall into that category.



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