US basketball

Clippers’ Paul George declines option, becomes free agent – report


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Clippers’ Paul George declines option, becomes free agent – report

FOCUSED. Clippers forward Paul George reacts during a game.

Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Had Paul George agreed to his player option, the Clippers might have also pursued a sign-and-trade strategy for the star wing player

Nine-time All-Star Paul George is opting out of the $48.8 million option to play for the Los Angeles Clippers and will become a free agent for next season, ESPN reported Saturday, June 29.

George, 34, could be offered a four-year, $221-million maximum contract from the Clippers, but the team reportedly is not looking to exceed more than the three-year, $152.4 million extension it gave to Kawhi Leonard during the past season.

ESPN reported that George plans to meet with teams with enough salary cap space to sign him as well as with the Clippers beginning Sunday night, June 30. (READ: Warriors would offer Paul George max contract)

If George had agreed to his player option, Los Angeles might have pursued a sign-and-trade strategy for the wing player.

George averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in 74 games (all starts) – the most games he has played in a regular season since 2018-19, his last campaign with Oklahoma City. He also shot career-bests from the floor (47.1%) and three-point range (41.3%).

The Thunder traded George to the Clippers in July 2019 for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and the rights to seven first-round picks.

The Indiana Pacers selected him 10th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Fresno State. He has played for the Pacers (2010-2017), Thunder (2017-2019), and Clippers and averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.7 steals in 867 games (819 starts) over 14 seasons. –

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