2024 NBA Free Agency: Paul George opts out of Clippers contract, enters free agency

Nine-time NBA All-Star Paul George has declined his $48.8 million option to play for the Los Angeles Clippers next season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, making him one of the league's most coveted free agents.

The 34-year-old averaged 22.6 points (on 47/41/91 shooting splits), 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last season, leading the Clippers to the first round of the playoffs. They lost to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers could offer George a four-year, $221 million max contract. According to multiple reports, they are not willing to offer him more than the three-year, $152.4 million extension that Kawhi Leonard signed during the season. George's decision to opt out will test the Clippers' intentions.

George's loved ones found out a few hours later when they informed of He will have meetings with the Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic once free agency begins.

The Clippers traded the rights to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and seven first-round draft picks for George in the summer of 2019, as they were also in the process of recruiting Leonard to L.A. Last season marked the first time George played more than 56 games in a season for the Clippers.

George led the franchise to its first-ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2021.

The Sixers, who consider themselves the only championship contender with maximum salary cap space, have long been expected to be interested, even after The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the team's interest in George “has waned significantly.” (Perhaps because their interest in him has waned?) Sixers star Joel Embiid was picked up on the grounds that he would be a great player for the team. Open recruitment George was featured on live TV in Philadelphia during the NBA Finals.

However, winning a championship may not be George's only goal in free agency.

“People are talking about chasing championships,” George said on a recent episode of his podcast about his free-agency goals. “It's not that, but I want to play the right style of basketball.”

George could sign with another team for up to $212 million over the next four seasons. The Detroit Pistons are the only team other than the Sixers that could clear enough cap space to sign him.

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