$176 Million Star Expected to be Sixers ‘Top Target’: Report

Daryl Morey

Getty Daryl Morey

The Philadelphia 76ers will have plenty of cap room for this upcoming offseason. They can use that cap room on anyone who enters free agency. One big name who could be a free agent is Paul George.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, the Sixers will pursue George if he opts out of his contract.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George is expected to be their top target if (he) declines his $48.8 million player option with L.A. for next season,” Pompey wrote in an April 12 story.

This is George’s fifth year with the Clippers, having played in Los Angeles since 2019. He is also in the third year of a four-year, $176 million contract.

George made his eighth All-Star team in 2024. Even at 33 years old, George is averaging 22.8 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 47% from the field and 41.2% from three.

George would be the best wing scorer Joel Embiid has played with since Jimmy Butler. He has experience with playoff success, having made three Eastern Conference Finals with the Clippers and Indiana Pacers.

The Sixers also have to extend Tyrese Maxey

Paul George & Clippers Far Apart on Extension: Insider

It remains to be seen if George will enter free agency or not. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that he and the Clippers are nowhere close to agreeing to an extension.

“It’s now been three months, give or take, and there’s been no agreement on Paul George, and the word in the NBA is that they’re apart,” Windhorst said on “The Hoops Collective” podcast. It’s not like, let’s have a big problem. They’re apart…

“I think the league believes that Paul George wants to remain a Clipper, and there would be concern in the league about recruiting Paul George, especially if you had to give away players to open up space.”

This could be very telling regarding whether George will become a free agent or not. The Clippers have already extended Kawhi Leonard and will also have to deal with former Sixers star James Harden’s free agency.

If they don’t succeed as they’ve been expected to with their star duo, some questions may arise. Since they teamed up with the Clippers, the furthest Leonard and George have gone together is the Western Conference Finals. That was once, and it was back in 2021.

Sixers Interest in Paul George ‘Worst-Kept Secret’

Though Pompey has reported the Sixers’ interest, he has also added that he believes this is all a ploy on George’s end.

“Call me a cynic. I believe the small forward’s stated interest in the Sixers is about creating leverage with the Clippers,” Pompey wrote in a March 28 story.

Pompey used the Sixers’ previous interest in George in the past to explain why he doubts George’s desire to play in Philadelphia.

“In the summer of 2018, they went “star hunting” to secure one of George, Leonard, or LeBron James — and struck out on all three.

“James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. The San Antonio Spurs traded Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. And George re-signed with Oklahoma City Thunder. The belief was that George and James were only connected to the Sixers as leverage.”