Paul George will sign 4-year max deal with 76ers: sources

Nine-time NBA All-Star forward Paul George will join the Philadelphia 76ers on a four-year, $212 million maximum contract, league sources said Monday.

George spent the past five seasons with the LA Clippers, where he averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season. The Clippers announced on Sunday night that the two sides were unable to agree on a contract extension, clearing the way for George to move to another team.

He joins a Philadelphia team led by two-time scoring champion Joel Embiid and 2023-24 Most Improved Player Tyrese Maxey — but this is a franchise that hasn’t advanced beyond the Eastern Conference semifinals since its last NBA Finals appearance in 2001. Philadelphia went 47-35 this season and was eliminated from the playoffs by the New York Knicks in the first round.

George, 34, fits both roles for the 76ers. On offense, George is equally adept as a pick-and-roll ballhandler or in isolation. He is one of the most effective off-ball stars in the league. George is coming off a season where he hit career highs in field-goal percentage (47.1), 3-point percentage (41.3) and free-throw percentage (90.7). While George has had occasional turnover issues and has seen his free-throw attempt rate decline in recent years, Maxi and Embiid could ease those concerns. Embiid, the 2023 MVP, will be the centerpiece of Philadelphia's offense under coach Nick Nurse, and Maxi averaged 25.9 points per game this season, making his first All-Star team in the process. When George moves on, the 76ers could ride on him. When George wants to procrastinate, he has a number of young stars who allow him to play in the background.

On defense, George's rebounding has dropped and he doesn't take as many top assignments as he used to. But he's still a defensive playmaker, standing 6-foot-11 and with active hands. Nurse's defense has always prioritized forcing turnovers and George is one of the best in the league at creating them.

Ultimately, the 76ers needed to make a move to save this era of their franchise. Embiid established himself as a great force alongside Ben Simmons from 2017 to 2021, but that happened because of Simmons' departure from the organization and a trade for James Harden. Ironically, Harden's trade to the Clippers last year enabled the 76ers to make room to sign George. While George, who will be under contract until age 38, may be in the second half of his career, the 76ers have arguably their strongest team on paper since Jimmy Butler left in 2019. According to BetMGM, Philadelphia now has the third-best odds (8-1) to win the NBA title, behind the Boston Celtics (3-1) and Denver Nuggets (15-2) and tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Also, Philadelphia has agreed to terms to bring back Kelly Oubre Jr. on a two-year, $16.3 million deal, a league source confirmed. Oubre, 28, averaged 15.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 68 appearances this season after coming over from Charlotte on a one-year deal.

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