Clippers reportedly gifted Paul George to 76ers out of hatred

Apparently, there’s another side to the 76ers acquiring Paul George from the Clippers via free agency. Petty or not, it plays to Philly’s benefit.
76ers, Paul George
76ers, Paul George / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers snagging Paul George in free agency saw the biggest fish in the market juice up an already lethal team, bring them closer to contention. In all honesty though, the outcome was quite shocking, as the league-wide consensus prior to the signing was that he’s a near-guarantee to remain with his then-current club.

Instead, the LA Clippers allowed him to walk away in free agency, breaking up a Kawhi Leonard-Paul George tandem that brought them zero playoff success thanks to untimely — yet admittedly foreseeable — injuries. There’s apparently another side to this story, though, one that ultimately ended up playing to Philly’s benefit.

Clippers apparently gifted Paul George to the 76ers out of hatred

Before the George sweepstakes basically morphed into a one-man race with the 76ers expectedly getting the nod, the Golden State Warriors were actually pursuing a sign-and-trade scenario with the Clippers would have had George opting into his contract for next season and eventually coming to terms with his supposedly new team for a max deal.

However, things quickly got out of hand for the Warriors. Draymond Green, one to never shy away from the limelight, even acknowledged this big what-if, chiding the Clippers for allegedly not sending George to his desired destination.

"Also a little salty about that because, as you all know, Paul George was going to come to the Warriors, and we wanted Paul George to come to the Warriors. We always talk about these organizations, what they do for their players and what not, and the Clippers didn't really want to play ball, didn't really want to help him get to where he wanted to go."

The falling out ultimately led to George signing with Philadelphia, the lone team with the machinations to hand him a max contract with the other teams touting cap space having already tendered significant deals at that juncture.

While Green was probably right that the Clippers could have at least tried to extract assets for George, intra-division trades are frowned upon. LA, which still has a talented roster despite losing the nine-team All-Star, was expectedly not too enthused about sending the star to a division rival.

Call it petty or not, in the end, the 76ers were the ones that benefited from the Clippers and the Warriors’ icy tango. Even better, they can leave the pondering to the two teams that lost him and nuked their championship aspirations.

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