Clippers brass hopeful to retain star swingman
Paul George. Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Clippers brass hopeful to retain star swingman

Paul George has a player option worth $48.7 million for next season. If he declines to pick up the option, he will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. If he opts in, the Clippers will have him on their roster for at least another year. 

The Clippers would prefer to tie George down to a longer-term deal. They've made it clear they would like him to continue his partnership with Kawhi Leonard, who signed a contract extension earlier in the season. 

When addressing the media on Monday, Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank admitted he remains confident of retaining George's services, even if he decides to test free agency. 

“I think the thing is every deal has to work for both sides and I think we got to a point where we just said, 'you know what? We can continue the conversations but let's just table it until the end of the year,'" Frank said. "So I anticipate that we'll pick up conversations. Everything's been on a very, I'd say, cooperative and collaborative measure and he can sign his extension up till July 1 and then he can also test free agency and we're hopeful that we can still bring him back.”

George is an L.A. native. He hasn't won a championship in his career. Staying with the Clippers allows him to remain close to home while also being a core piece on a contending team. Owner Steve Ballmer has the financial resources to foot any potential luxury tax bill as he continues to give the green light in constructing a contending roster.

The Clippers also have a lot going for them. Ty Lue is one of the best coaches in the NBA. Leonard, when healthy, is still a top-tier talent. And James Harden could re-sign with the franchise. Nevertheless, George's future isn't guaranteed until he signs a contract and commits his future to a franchise. 

The Clippers should certainly feel confident, but they should also be planning for a situation in which George heads elsewhere in search of a fresh opportunity. 

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter


Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.