Philadelphia rumored to be "eager" to target Paul George if he is free agent

Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Clippers
Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Clippers

Paul George doesn’t hesitate to say he loves playing back in Southern California with these Clippers and three other stars — Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden — who grew up here and feel tied to the city. "We're representing L.A. All of us grew up around the city and the area, were tied to it, and want to rep it," George told NBC Sports. "This is Los Angeles basketball, we feel a real pride in showing that."

But business is business. The Clippers have yet to reach a contract extension with George (as they did Kawhi Leonard, who took a little less than market value to stay in Los Angeles). That has other teams keeping an eye on George in case he decides to test free agency, all of which leads to this note from Marc Stein in his Substack.

"League sources say that Philadelphia continues to loom as an eager George suitor should he make it onto the open market and give the 76ers their formal opportunity to try to lure him across the country. The Sixers are said to maintain interest in George despite the widely held presumption that he and [Kawhi] Leonard want to keep playing together in their native Southern California."

Stein says what NBC Sports also has heard from league sources — teams expect George to re-sign with the Clippers. With Los Angeles moving into a brand new arena next season, Steve Ballmer wants to put a contender on the floor and this team looked like one for a couple of months before the All-Star break. Ultimately, that means paying up to bring back George as well as re-signing Harden this offseason.

However, nothing is signed, and anything is possible if the Clippers stumble in the playoffs — the Pelicans are a tough first-round matchup for them. If George wants to chase a ring, there are worse places to be than on the wing surrounded by Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.