Paul George reaches decision about his future with the LA Clippers

LA Clippers forward Paul George. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

It appears the 213 era could soon be over for the Los Angeles Clippers as they move into the Intuit Dome for the 2024-25 NBA season. 

Paul George faced three possible decisions ahead of Saturday's 2 p.m. PT deadline. He could accept a three-year deal with the Clippers, explore free agency, or opt into his contract and force the Clippers to trade him. 

On Saturday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported George declined his $48.7 million player option and will enter free agency.

George had played for the Clippers for the previous five seasons. He could return to the Clippers for a sixth year, however, as they remain one of the teams he plans to meet with on Sunday. 

Following speculation that the nine-time NBA All-Star wanted to "stay on the West Coast," the Golden State Warriors seemed to be in the running in anticipation of losing Klay Thompson. 

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Now, it seems George is open to switching coasts. Chris Haynes reported the Sixers plan to "aggressively pursue" him and may lure him away from Los Angeles. 

Negotiations between George and the Clippers reportedly stalled after they refused to sign him to a maximum contract extension. In January, his teammate Kawhi Leonard signed on for another three years in a deal worth a reported $153 million. 


George initially felt confident he would reach a similar deal with the franchise, but they seemingly weren’t willing to go all-in with the Palmdale native. 

 Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

In July 2019, the NBA world was stunned when George signed with the LA Clippers, pairing him with Kawhi Leonard following Leonard’s NBA Finals MVP run with Toronto. George was acquired in a massive trade and the Clippers ultimately "sold the farm" in a move that involved giving up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and several draft picks.

Overall, the 213 era did not go as planned. While the two made for some phenomenal moments during the regular season, it was during the postseason that the partnership would start to crumble, as the two were rarely healthy at the same time when it mattered most. 

With the exception of the 2020 postseason when they managed to give up a 3-1 series lead against the Denver Nuggets, Leonard and George were hindered by injuries and only played in 26 playoff games together in five seasons. 

During the 2023-24 season, George averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.