Stunning Paul George rumor could send 76ers fans down the spiral

While the Philadelphia 76ers are high on the list of suitors for Paul George, this latest rumor on him could send Sixers fans down the spiral.
76ers, Paul George
76ers, Paul George / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

All this time, the Philadelphia 76ers were widely believed to be among, if not the frontrunners, to sign All-Star forward Paul George in free agency. The franchise is one of the very few teams who can offer him a max contract outright, and there are no other win-now teams who can dish out the kind of money they can.

While slowly getting past his prime, George remains an elite two-way player with an incredibly in-demand skillset. His game projects as a snug fit next to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, and a troika with those three would easily pass on as one of the most formidable ones not only in the East, but in the NBA as a whole.

Unfortunately, the latest buzz surrounding George isn’t one to rejoice over for 76ers fans.

Paul George rumored to be more likely to stay with the Clippers than sign with the 76ers

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the league-wide belief is that George would remain in Los Angeles notwithstanding the absence of a lucrative extension between both parties at the end of the season.

Following another early playoff exit, in large part due to injuries once again, there were whispers about George potentially leaving LA, especially after the Clippers didn’t hand him an extension offer. The 76ers were initially billed as the biggest threat to sign him in free agency, while the Magic and the Knicks were also linked as potential destinations.

However, it seems like the Clippers’ posturing has changed with regard to his long-term future in LA. Perhaps on deck for his last grand payday, it appears that Steve Ballmer and co. are now starting to cozy up to the idea of keeping its vaunted Big Three. Kawhi Leonard already inked a max extension while James Harden is also penciled in for a new contract.

If this holds up, the 76ers could have much more limited options this offseason. Daryl Morey has been adamant about finding Embiid and Maxey another star to operate with, and George would’ve been the perfect one to fill that spot. Instead, Philadelphia could be forced to either seek out stars in the trade market, or settle with signing high-end role players instead and double down on depth.

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