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May 27, 2024

NBA rumors: Signing Paul George is 'Plan A' for Sixers

Paul George, 34, is expected to become an unrestricted free agent this summer -- and his future with the Los Angeles Clippers appears to be uncertain.

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Paul George 5.27.24 Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Could Paul George make the Sixers true championship contenders in 2024-25?

As rumors surrounding the Sixers' free agency plans continue to swirl, it is becoming more and more clear that there is at least one player they are circling: nine-time All-Star wing Paul George, who is expected to decline his player option with the Los Angeles Clippers for the 2024-25 season and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

In a perfect world, George and the Clippers will find common ground in what have already been extensive contract negotiations to keep one of the league's premier two-way talents in his home state. But the NBA is a brutal business, and oftentimes that common ground cannot be reached.

According to numerous reports, the Sixers have been eyeing George as a potential target as President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey seeks to acquire an additional star-level talent to the All-Star duo of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. 

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported Monday morning that George is the Sixers' primary target, calling him the team's "plan A."

O'Connor writes:

"One night, George plays like an MVP. The next, he’s an elite 3-and-D role player. This type of versatility is exactly what the Sixers need. They’re looking for another star, but they also need players who can fill various roles. PG-13 is both, which is why sources familiar with Philly’s strategy say he is the team’s plan A in free agency."

It is not hard to see why George has been considered a pristine on-court fit for the Sixers for many years -- part of his appeal is that he is considered one of the most "portable" stars in the NBA -- able to be plugged into any roster and thrive. Over the last 10 NBA seasons, George has made 39.2 percent of his three-point shots on 7.8 tries per game -- both elite figures. His three-point shooting makes him as much of a threat away from the ball as he is with it in his hands. George is also a four-time All-Defensive Team honoree.

It is not that simple, though: George, who turned 34 at the beginning of the month, played 74 games this season -- the most in any season during his five-year tenure with the Clippers -- but had never played more than 56 games in a season with Los Angeles prior to that. Injuries have plagued him for many years, and it is hard to imagine that changing as he enters his mid-30s. 

While the on-court fit for George in Philadelphia may be excellent, there are some serious causes for concern when it comes to giving him a massive, long-term contract. Right now, it appears as if Morey and his front office may be willing to take a major risk in hopes of adding a player who can take them over the hump.

MORE: Sixers mock draft roundup

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