Sixers Predicted to Add $176 Million Former MVP Candidate

Daryl Morey

Getty Daryl Morey

The Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George for some time now. Because they’ll have the cap flexibility, they can add him without any complication. Whether the interest is mutual on George’s end is currently unknown.

While George has not entered free agency, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes believes that the Sixers’ pursuit of him will succeed. In a May 15 story, Hughes explained why he believes George would pick the Sixers over the Clippers.

“George cannot be confident in Leonard staying healthy for a full regular season and playoffs, mainly because it’s never happened since they teamed up in 2019. Take a moment to digest the fact that in this hypothetical, George is choosing the health record of Joel Embiid, who’s never played more than 68 games in a season, over Leonard’s. If that doesn’t illustrate Kawhi’s chronic unavailability, nothing will.”

Not only that, but George believes that the Sixers have enough to entice George that they are a winning team.

“Ultimately, George has good reason to believe the Embiid-Tyrese Maxey combo has more upside than the Leonard-James Harden one—and that’s before considering Harden’s own free agency. The Sixers have unmatched flexibility, an in-prime MVP, and a rising max-salary star.”

George finished the third year of a four-year, $176 million contract. He once finished third in MVP voting in 2019.

Paul George’s Honest Thoughts on His Future

After the Dallas Mavericks eliminated the Clippers, George gave his thoughts on what his future holds.

“I’m not even focused on that yet,” George told reporters when asked about his future. “I got a lot to kind of digest myself, so I haven’t even got to that yet. Look forward to kind of going back, just letting everything kind of decompress, talk to my family, be around family support and then address the next step. … Yeah, it’s just not where I’m there. I’m not there yet.”

George has plenty of time to consider his options. Free agency will not start for over a month. Since joining the Clippers in 2019, they made one Western Conference Finals appearance in 2021.

When asked if he’d like to run it back with Leonard and ex-Sixer James Harden, George answered somewhat in the affirmative.

“Yeah,” George said. “If it works that way, absolutely.”

The Clippers already have Leonard locked up despite his inability to stay on the floor. The pairing has been effective, with the only issue being that they’ve failed to stay healthy. George must decide if it’s worth it.

Sixers Among Threats to Sign Paul George: Report

The Sixers and Clippers will be among George’s top suitors, but they will not be alone. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed another team that has their eyes on George.

“There are two teams right now who are paying very close attention to Paul George — the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers because both of them have the money to throw at him and need for wing just like him, a veteran guy,” Shelburne said on “The Hoop Collective” podcast. “Every time I watch the Sixers, I’m like, ‘Oh look, they could use Paul George. He will fit right there.’”

The Magic just came off their second consecutive playoff appearance and were within inches of advancing. Adding George would create an interesting dynamic with Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner.

The Sixers provide more of a win-now opportunity for George, but Orlando’s young talent is undeniable.