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#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Paul George could try strategy to force trade from Clippers?

Paul George with the ball in his hand

Jan 22, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) brings the ball up court against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George is said to be seeking more money from the Los Angeles Clippers than the team is willing to pay, and it may not be long before the nine-time All-Star asks for a trade. Or, George could try to force one.

There have been numerous reports that George wants a four-year contract from the Clippers, but the team has only offered a deal similar to the three-year, $152.4 million extension Kawhi Leonard signed back in January. According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, there is an “increasingly realistic scenario” where George could exercise his $48.8 million player option for the 2024-25 season in an attempt to force a trade.

Stein said there have been “months of fruitless contract extension negotiations” between George and the Clippers. Rival teams are aware of that and have begun to inquire about potentially trading for George.

James Harden used the strategy of exercising his player option with the Houston Rockets last year to pressure the team to trade him. When Harden realized he was not going to get the long-term deal he wanted from Houston, he figured the teams that were interested in signing him would not have the cap space to do so in free agency. Harden ended up in L.A. with George.

One Eastern Conference star recently indicated that he wants to team up with George, but it is unclear what a trade market for the 34-year-old would look like. While George averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebound and 3.5 assists across 74 games this season, he has a long injury history and is looking for top dollar. That might limit the number of suitors he attracts.

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