Paul George Reveals Shocking Details That Caused Clippers Exit

Paul George, Clippers, NBA Rumors
Mar 27, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Paul George trade was a disaster for the Los Angeles Clippers. While it did land them two prime MVP candidates in PG and Kawhi Leonard, the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. Over five NBA seasons together, the pair reached a solitary Conference Finals.

With his move to the Philadelphia 76ers on a 4-year, $212 million deal, the story in LA is over. However, during a recent episode of his Podcast P, George went in-depth about his negotiations with the Clippers FO.

Paul George turned down the ‘disgusting’ first offer

The entire situation was bound to reach a boiling point. After trading for James Harden, Steve Balmer was billing one of the most expensive teams in sports. In addition, a Kawhi Leonard extension wasn’t going to help matters. His deal came at a steep 3 years and $150 million. So, by the time resigning Paul became a priority, Balmer wasn’t willing to spend extravagantly. To complicate matters further, the team also shifted to a new arena that cost $2 billion to build.

“I never wanted to leave L.A.,” George said on his podcast. “L.A. is home, this is where I wanted to finish at, and I wanted to work as hard as possible to win one in L.A. That was the goal, to be here and be committed to L.A. As it played out though, the first initial deal was I thought kind of disrespectful. In all of this, no hard feelings, no love lost … it’s a business. So the first initial deal was like two years, 60. So I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa. That’s crazy! I’m like, ‘Naw, I’m not signing that.”‘

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

On the other hand, the Clippers issued a lengthy statement about their outlook heading into the offseason. In the statement, they revealed their strategy for resigning their core guys while allowing some flexibility according to the new collective bargaining agreement. For the team, each of Harden, Leonard, and George was a priority target.

George’s Kawhi Leonard settlement

While Kawhi got the lion’s share of the contract, James had to settle for a 2-year, $70 million extension. However, PG13 wasn’t willing to settle for anything less than his perceived value. After the initial offer from LA, the 9-time All-Star was willing to settle for a deal on par with Leonard. But, no such offer came from the other side.

“Then I hear wind of what they’re going to give Kawhi so I’m like, ‘Just give me what Kawhi got. ‘Y’all view us the same. We came here together, we want to finish this s— together.’ I’ll take what Kawhi got, no problem,” George said. “I was cool with that and we were still taking less. Kawhi took less, so if Kawhi takes less, it’s not about me being paid more than him…Y’all give him that, give me that. They didn’t want to do that.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Eventually, the deal fell through and then coming back wasn’t really an option for Paul. Instead, he had a conversation with his running mate, and the proverbial ship sailed.

“We couldn’t remain healthy as a unit,” George said. “But I thought I did enough to earn that [three-year, $150-million deal with a no-trade clause]. They didn’t want to do it. So it was just a stalemate. Ultimately it was like, all right, that ship has sailed. … I love Steve , I love Lawrence Frank, but at that point it didn’t even feel right to come back with that type of energy and be comfortable playing back in L.A.”

Now, George is a member of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Eastern Conference has a new bonafide Big 3. Do you think Paul George took the right step? Let us know in the comments below.

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