Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Paul George has agreed to a four-year, $212 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers in NBA free agency, CBS Sports NBA insider Bill Reiter confirmed Monday. George will now be joining Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey in the Eastern Conference’s newest star trio as he attempts to win his first NBA championship in his 15th season in the league.George’s exit from Los Angeles has seemingly been brewing since the Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard to a three-year, $153 million extension in January. 

The Clippers had reportedly hoped to re-sign George to a similar deal, but he held out for a four-year deal, ideally at his max salary. These negotiations dragged into the offseason, when it became clear that several teams were willing to pay George what he wanted. The Clippers negotiated a possible opt-in-and-trade scenario with the Golden State Warriors that ultimately did not materialize, which led to George opting out of the final year of his deal.

Once he did so, and the Clippers held firm on their decision not to give him a fourth year, it became clear that a separation was imminent. On Sunday, the team released a statement thanking George for his five seasons with the team and officially informing the basketball world that the two sides would be separation.

“Paul has informed us that he is signing his next contract with another team,” the Clippers said. “Paul is a tremendous talent and an elite two-way player. … We negotiated for months Paul and his representative on a contract that would make sense for both sides, and we were left far apart. The gap was significant. We understand and respect Paul’s decision to look elsewhere for his next contract.”

When free agency began, it was reported that George would meet with the Clippers, 76ers and Orlando Magic, but once the Clippers bowed out and the Magic spent some of their cap space on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the path was cleared for him to join the 76ers. Philadelphia has spent the past year planning for this exact pursuit. They held off on extending Tyrese Maxey last offseason knowing that it would allow them to maximize their cap space this summer. When they traded James Harden, they forced the Clippers to take on P.J. Tucker’s salary for the 2024-25 season as well. Even as they sought upgrades at the trade deadline, the 76ers maintained their max cap space knowing that George could become available.

Now the 76ers have perhaps the most talented trio in the NBA: the 2023 MVP still at the peak of his powers, a nine-time All-Star at the league’s most important position, and a 23-year-old Most Improved Player. Their skills should mesh together comfortably. All three can shoot. All three can handle the ball. George and Embiid are strong defenders. Maxey, the youngest and healthiest of the group, can carry the night-to-night regular-season workload when the older two need to rest.

The Celtics are the clear Eastern Conference favorites after their 64-win season and run to the championship. The New York Knicks took a major step forward when they landed Mikal Bridges in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Now, the 76ers have thrown their hat into the ring. Three long-time Atlantic Division foes are now set to compete for the Eastern Conference and a chance to reach the 2025 NBA Finals. The 76ers had the second-best odds to win the East in 2025 behind the Celtics after landing George.

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#76ers #land #Paul #George #AllStar #agrees #fouryear #212M #deal #NBA #free #agency

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