Sixers’ 2024 Star Target Expected to Stay Out West: Report

Paul George

Getty Paul George

The Philadelphia 76ers will look to add some more talent to surround Joel Embiid via free agency. One possible target is Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George. However, Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported the unlikelihood of George leaving LA.

“The Philadelphia 76ers project to have a massive cache of cap room. While it’s believed to be earmarked for Paul George, multiple NBA sources expect George to re-sign with the LA Clippers,” Pincus reported in an April 24 story.

George is in the third year of a four-year, $176 million contract. He also has a player option for the 2024-25 season. There have been no reports revealing if he will exercise or decline the option. Whether he does or doesn’t, his decision may not alter his future with the Clippers.

The Clippers have already extended Kawhi Leonard and also have James Harden’s contract situation to take care of.

If Pincus’ report proves to be true, the Sixers may have to look to other free agents. They wouldn’t necessarily have to give any player a max contract. They could give certain players a large amount of money, but not for too many years. Doing so could help them maintain cap flexibility.

Sixers’ Interest in Paul George Called ‘Worst-Kept Secret’

Though George re-signing with the Clippers may be a foregone conclusion, the Sixers’ interest in him has been out in the open for some time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported how well-known the Sixers’ desire to add George is.

“The 76ers’ desire to acquire Paul George in free agency is the NBA’s worst-kept secret,” Pompey wrote in a March 28 story. “There are some who expect both sides to reach an agreement, leading to George joining forces with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey next season.”

The Sixers have tried coupling multiple All-Stars with Embiid either via draft or free agency. They’ve tried the likes of Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and James Harden as Embiid’s partner-in-crime. The furthest they’ve gone in making these efforts is the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Sixers have been consistent in the playoffs but have never made it any further.

George has never made it past the Eastern Conference Finals, but he has at least been a top player on multiple teams who have gotten that far.

Andrew Wiggins Floated as Sixers Trade Target

While Pincus reported that George may stay with the Clippers, he added that they could look into adding Golden State Warriors wing Andrew Wiggins.

Pincus wrote in that same story, “With a weak free-agent market, Wiggins may be Philadelphia’s best available wing.”

After proposing a trade that would send Wiggins to the Sixers, Pincus also explained why Wiggins could appeal to the Sixers financially.

“Taking Wiggins into cap space for just the No. 16 pick is a bargain for Philadelphia. The 29-year-old wing and 2014 No. 1 pick is under contract through 2026-27 for $84.7 million (player option on the final season). That’s a significantly lower price than George (almost 34) will command to stay with the Clippers.

“Assuming the 76ers also keep Paul Reed Jr., Philadelphia would still have about $33.3 million to spend elsewhere (before re-signing Maxey) plus the room mid-level exception (about $8 million). Wiggins would presumably replace Tobias Harris on the roster, and the remaining budget would be used to shop in free agency and/or retain players like Kyle Lowry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Nicolas Batum, Buddy Hield, and De’Anthony Melton.”

Losing out on George wouldn’t be the best news for the Sixers, but Wiggins would give them more wing depth.