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Report: Paul George, 76ers agree to max $212M contract in pursuit of an NBA championship

Report: Paul George, 76ers agree to max $212M contract in pursuit of an NBA championship

Paul George will join Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey in Philadelphia in pursuit of an NBA championship. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Paul George has agreed to a maximum four-year, $212 million contract to join the Philadelphia 76ers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported early Monday.

George joins a 76ers team featuring seven-time All-Star and 2023 MVP Joel Embiid and All-Star point guard Tyrese Maxey, the reigning NBA Most Improved Player. The addition of George resets the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, where the 76ers seek to join the champion Boston Celtics as contenders for the NBA title.

A 6-foot-8 wing, George remains one of the league's premier two-way players at 34 years old. He averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 47.1% from the field and a career-high 41.3% from 3 last season with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The transaction is the most significant of the NBA offseason since teams were permitted to negotiate with players from other franchises starting Sunday. George, a nine-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA selection, opted out of the final year of his contract with the Clippers on Saturday. The Clippers announced Sunday evening that negotiations with Paul had failed and that he was not going to return to the team.

Alongside Embiid in the post and Maxey at point guard, George completes one of the NBA's most formidable big threes, though health will remain a concern. George played 74 games in 2023-24, but hadn't played more than 56 games in any of his prior four seasons.

A knee injury derailed Embiid's MVP defense last season, limiting him to 39 games. Plagued by injuries throughout his career, Embiid has never played more than 68 games in a single season and has played in 51 games or fewer in six of the 10 seasons since the 76ers selected him with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. If both can remain healthy alongside Maxey — who's expected to sign a max contract with Philadelphia as a restricted free agent — the 76ers project as one of the top contenders for the NBA title.

George spent five seasons with the Los Angeles alongside fellow All-Star Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers acquired George via a 2019 trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder hoping that he and Leonard could deliver the franchise's first NBA title. Los Angeles sent Oklahoma City a blockbuster package that included five first-round draft picks, two pick swaps, Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who's developed into a two-time first-team All-NBA selection and MVP finalist.

With both stars plagued by injuries, the Clippers never made it to the NBA Finals. Their best effort with George and Leonard saw the Clippers advance to the Western Conference finals in 2021, where they lost to the Phoenix Suns.

The Clippers made several reported moves at the onset of free agency Sunday, but none that will counter the departure of George. Los Angeles reportedly agreed to re-sign former MVP point guard James Harden in addition to reaching terms with former Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr.

They also reportedly agreed to terms with former Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr., who returns to the NBA following a one-year absence after facing domestic assault charges.

Per the Clippers, negotiations with Paul failed after months of negotiations. Wojnarowski reports that the Clippers didn't move off an offer of a three-year contract, while George desired the four-year deal he ultimately agreed to with the 76ers.

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