More Sports:

June 24, 2024

NBA free agency rumors: Sixers might not be out on Paul George

Conflicting reporting regarding the Sixers' pursuit of Paul George has continued with six days remaining before NBA free agency opens.

Sixers NBA
Paul George 6.24.24 Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Paul George was once considered the Sixers' top free agency target. Then they reportedly were no longer interested. Now, they might be back in on the nine-time All-Star.

The most crucial storyline within a pivotal Sixers offseason has been the status of their pursuit of soon-to-be free agent Paul George. At first, he was their "Plan A," and all of the reports regarding their free agency plans seemed to surround a theoretical four-year max contract that would land the nine-time All-Star wing in Philadelphia. Then, suddenly, it was reported that the team's interest in George had "significantly waned" and that they were going in another direction, causing us to ponder what their next steps would be.

For the last several days, the masses have been operating under the assumption that the Sixers are no longe trying to pry George away from the Los Angeles Clippers. But NBA insider Michael Scotto reported Monday morning that the team should not be counted out just yet:

Scotto writes:

"Despite a recent report that Philadelphia's interest in Paul George has cooled amid uncertainty about whether he'd go across the country and sign with Philadelphia in free agency, there remains significant interest from the 76ers in signing him, league sources tell HoopsHype." [HoopsHype]

And so, the debate continues: does signing George actually make the most sense for the Sixers?

NBA free agency: Is Paul George the Sixers' missing piece?

On the court, it makes sense: George is one of most portable stars in recent NBA history, a player whose skillset fits alongside just about any other elite names on a given roster. He is likely the best player to enter free agency who is expected to consider moving teams. The Sixers believe they are in need of a third star to put alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, and their hole on the wing is evident.

But when you dig deeper into the ramifications of signing George, there are reasons for pause: George is 34 years old with an extensive injury history and track record full of playoff disappointments, and signing him would inhibit the team's ability to build significant depth behind whoever their stars end up being.

It always appeared odd that the Sixers were suddenly out on the player who appeared to be their primary target. Maybe -- just maybe -- that was never actually the case.

Follow Adam on Twitter: @SixersAdam

Follow PhillyVoice on Twitter: @thephillyvoice