Sources: George, 76ers reach 4-year, $212M deal

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Free agent forward Paul George has agreed on a four-year, $212 million maximum contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN early Monday morning.

George’s deal — which sources say includes a player option on the final season in 2027-28 — brings him back to the Eastern Conference to partner with MVP center Joel Embiid and All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey in pursuit of upending the NBA champion Boston Celtics.

George and his agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA, met with a 76ers contingent that included owner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and Sixers legend Julius Erving in Los Angeles, sources said. The Sixers even brought a front office executive, Peter Dinwiddie, who is a familiar face and friend of George’s from their years together with the Indiana Pacers, sources said.

The meeting came on the heels of months of unsuccessful negotiations with the Los Angeles Clippers on a deal to stay in his Southern California home.

Embiid, Maxey and George were All-Stars last season and form one of the most formidable Big 3’s in recent NBA history — featuring an ideal roster balance between an explosive lead guard in Maxey, an elite two-way wing player in George and a dominant big man in Embiid. George, a 34-year old nine-time All-Star, has spent the past five seasons with the Clippers and averaged 23 points, six rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals over 263 regular season games in Los Angeles.

George, traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017 before a trade to the Clippers as part of LA’s move to sign Kawhi Leonard as a free agent two years later, has moved on. The Clippers and George had been speaking for months on a potential deal, but never came close to an agreement. George wanted four-years on a new deal, and the Clippers offered three, sources said.

The Clippers issued a statement Sunday saying that George had told them he planned to sign with another team:

“Paul is a tremendous talent and an elite two-way player. We feel fortunate for the five years we spent with him. Over that span, he went to three All-Star Games, made the most 3-pointers in franchise history and helped lead the team to a place it had never been. His performances in Games 5 and 6 against Utah in 2021 won’t be forgotten by anyone associated with the Clippers.

“We traded a lot to pair Paul and Kawhi [Leonard], and in exchange, we had five seasons of contention. Even though we fell short of our ultimate objective, we appreciate the chances we had with Paul.”

Now, George will be hoping to reach that ultimate objective — winning an NBA championship — alongside Embiid and Maxey in Philadelphia. The arrival of George could give the Sixers the firepower to take on the Celtics in the East.

One important development late on Sunday for George, sources told ESPN: The Sixers’ agreement on a two-year, $16.3 million deal with shooting guard Kelly Oubre Jr., sources said. The 76ers also reached agreements with veteran guard Eric Gordon and center Andre Drummond on Sunday too, sources said.

Since the Pacers drafted him 10th overall in 2010, George has become one of the NBA’s pre-eminent wing players — even while recovering from a devastating leg injury suffered ahead of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

George is one of eight players to make at least nine All-Star teams since he entered the league, joining LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. He’s also a six-time All-NBA selection, including being a first-team selection in 2019.

After missing most of the 2014-15 season, George has re-established himself as one of the top two-way perimeter players in the league, averaging 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season.

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.

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