NBA Rumors: All-Star forward gets one step closer to joining the 76ers

A recent rumor points to this widely coveted All-Star getting one step closer to joining the Philadelphia 76ers.
76ers, Joel Embiid
76ers, Joel Embiid / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA Free Agency is set to begin shortly, and the Philadelphia 76ers can now starting filling out the roster with most of their own players now unlikely to return. However, as typical of Daryl Morey, the team aims to kick off their foray into the open market by hopefully getting that elusive third star.

Over the last couple of months or so, the 76ers have been deeply linked to Paul George, reckoned to arguably be the best player available in the free agent market. Reports about Philly’s actual interest and shot at signing him have been conflicting so far, but now, it seems like the franchise has gotten a step closer to making that a reality.

Paul George gets one step closer to joining the 76ers

Multiple outlets have just bared that George declined his player option to return to the Clippers next season and will now officially be a free agent. Where do the 76ers stand here? Well, aside from the fact that they’re one of the only handful of teams capable of signing him outright, this also eliminates some of their competitors for his services.

The Warriors, for example, now have no tenable pathway to land the nine-time All-Star, as their only real route was to ope that he opts in and works his way into a sign-and-trade scenario. Unfortunately for them, the Clippers showed no interest in that setup.

Meanwhile, LA continues to resist from handing the 34-year-old George that four-year max contract he and his camp desire, though the jury is still optimistic on him eventually returning to the Clippers for next season and beyond.

Aside from George’s current club, the 76ers’ only other competitor for George are the Magic, another team with the financial legroom to hunt him down as a free agent. Orlando, a breakout team last season, is the odd one of the three, but they cannot be discounted on a hypothetical three-team race.

Ultimately, the Philadelphia 76ers now have a realistic shot at getting Paul George to fill that third star void, and while fans are currently divisive as to the logic behind maxing him out, the All-Star forward will undoubtedly improve the team’s billing for 2024-25.

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