Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Nine-time NBA All-Star forward Paul George will join the Philadelphia 76ers on a four-year, $212 million max 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 this past season. The Clippers announced on Sunday night that the two sides were unable to agree to a contract extension, clearing the way for George to move to a different team.

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

George, 34, seems to fit the 76ers on both ends of the floor. On offense, George is equally adept as a pick-and-roll ballhandler or in isolation. He is also one of the most effective off-ball stars in the league. George is coming off of a season where he reached career highs in field-goal percentage (47.1), 3-point percentage (41.3), and free-throw percentage (90.7). While George has issues with turnovers occasionally and has seen his free-throw attempt rate plummet in recent years, Maxey and Embiid could ease those concerns. Embiid, the 2023 MVP, will be the centerpiece of Philadelphia’s offense under coach Nick Nurse, and Maxey averaged a career-high 25.9 points per game this season, making his first All-Star team in the process. When George has it going, the 76ers can ride him. When George wants to defer, he has multiple younger stars to allow him to play in the background.

On defense, George’s rebounding has fallen off, and he does not take on as many top assignments as he used to. But he is still a defensive playmaker who has a 6-foot-11 wingspan and active hands. Nurse’s defenses have 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 try and save this era of their franchise. Embiid established himself as an elite force with Ben Simmons from 2017 to 2021, only for Simmons to fall out with the organization and be traded for James Harden. Ironically, the Harden trade to the Clippers last year enabled the 76ers to open up the space 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. Philadelphia now has the third-best odds (8-1) to win the NBA title, according to BetMGM, behind the Boston Celtics (3-1) and Denver Nuggets (15-2) and tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Separately, 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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(Photo: Harry How / Getty Images)

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#Paul #George #sign #76ers #4year #max #deal #Sources

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