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LA Clippers Express That They Want Paul George to Continue Further

Paul George (Photo: NBA)

The LA Clippers are keen to retain All-Star guard Paul George, but his decision on whether to exercise his $48.8 million player option by Saturday remains uncertain.

Lawrence Frank, president of basketball operations for the Clippers, disclosed ongoing discussions with George and his agent, Aaron Mintz. Despite the option to offer George a lucrative four-year, $221 million extension, negotiations have stalled in recent months.

If George doesn’t agree to an extension before the deadline, he could opt to become a free agent or exercise his current deal. Even if he opts in, he might look for a trade to another team.

The Clippers, who secured a three-year, $150-million extension with Kawhi Leonard earlier this year, are hopeful George will choose to stay close to his roots in Palmdale, where he grew up.

“We love Paul,” Frank emphasized following the Clippers’ selection of Cam Christie from Minnesota in the second round. “We very much want to retain Paul, but we also very much understand and respect the fact this is a business.”

He added, “We hope Paul’s decision is to be here. He’s been awesome. He’s been an All-Star. He’s one of the best two-way players in the league.

Paul George (Photo: Tony Gutierrez)

He’s a terrific person. He’s got great family, so we hope he’s here but also respect the fact that if he chooses to opt out, that’s his choice. He’s earned it and we’ll see how things play out.”

Frank also touched on the team’s interactions with James Harden, a free agent, and his agents Mike Silverman and Troy Payne, expressing a desire for Harden to continue with the Clippers.

“We think James has been terrific for us,” Frank noted. “We hope he’s had a great experience while he has been here and we hope he decides to continue to be here. … We very much want James to remain a Clipper and hope he decides to do the same.”

Given the constraints of the new collective bargaining agreement, particularly for tax-paying teams like the Clippers, Frank acknowledged the challenges in maintaining a competitive roster.

“This is a business and the reality of the new CBA impacts teams like us,” Frank explained. “When your better players are in their 30s and you’re trying to build a sustainable roster, it impacts it. Like if there was no CBA, with [owner] Steve Ballmer, it would be carte blanche.

With the new CBA, it’s not even about the money as it is how are you going to build a sustainable roster, maintain your tools to have transactional flexibility? And with that comes really, really hard decisions.”

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