Paul George signing goes beyond acquiring a superstar for the 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers went through many offseason disappointments during the post-Process era. Now, they have finally signed a superstar in free agency.
Los Angeles Clippers v Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Philadelphia 76ers are set to be legit NBA title contenders next season after acquiring Paul George via free agency. Daryl Morey moved quickly and nabbed the 9-time All-Star for the next four years. This was the goal for Philly since the James Harden trade, signing a superstar player alongside Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid.

Let's not forget that the franchise had a tough time bringing in big-time free agents during the last few years. Jimmy Butler left the team for Miami back in 2018, while LeBron James, who was a free agent back in 2018, preferred the Lakers' rebuilding project over the Sixers soon-to-be contender team.

More importantly, even when they were able to bring in a superstar, the team failed miserable to integrate them with Embiid. Starting with Ben Simmons, James Harden and even Jimmy Butler, who was unwilling to play in Philadelphia back in 2018. The fans went through some real drama during the last few years.

From Markelle Fultz to Ben Simmons and James Harden and the fact that the franchise is unable to make it through the second round of the NBA playoffs after withstanding consecutive seasons of losing between 2013-2016. Despite the fact that George is not the first All-Star to arrive in Philadelphia in the post-Process era, he's the first one to be considered compatible with the rest of the crew.

Jimmy Butler was unable to actively stretch the floor alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid when he joined Philadelphia. James Harden was a great fit with Embiid, but his absence elevated Maxey to new levels, especially this season where the explosive guard became an All-Star. George is a different story.

Paul George is the most “shiny” free agent acquisition since Julius Irving for the 76ers

George is a two-way presence, who can stretch the floor (38.4 % in his career), and he does not need the ball in his possession to create scoring opportunities. Last season, he remained a net positive for his team even after the James Harden trade that limited his opportunities (dropped from 29.4 to 26.4 USG%). He has been a positive contributor for any team he played with since the start of his career as he posts a positive net rating in every season since 2011-12 campaign.

That's very encouraging considering that Paul George is the first superstar in a long time to agreed terms with the franchise as a free agent. As I was searching for the last time Philadelphia brought a big name via free agency, I stumbled upon names like Julius Erving, who was bought by the Nets in the NBA-ABA merger, and George McGinnes during the mid-70s.

That says a lot about the 76ers' ability to bring in high-profile NBA stars when the players had the option to sign in more “shiny” markets like Los Angeles or Miami. That said, Daryl Morey proved that he can do the job and create a winner in a hurry after the disappointing end to a stormy relationship with James Harden.

George is coming to a city that is hungry to see the team win in the big stage. That said, there's always a possibility that the situation won't work for both the Sixers and the superstar forward. There are plenty of examples, such as George's previous team that did its best to reach the goal of winning an NBA championship, but fell short every time.

Bringing in more superstar power does not guarantee winning a championship, especially when teams like the Celtics or even the Knicks remain ahead of you in team building even after a strong start to the NBA free agency. The fans of the 76ers should be happy that the team is taking the right steps to position the team to challenge for the NBA title.

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