Paul George signs with 76ers on 4-year, max deal: sources

Nine-time NBA All-Star Paul George will join the Philadelphia 76ers on a four-year, $212 million contract, league sources said Monday.

George spent the past five seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, where he averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season. The Clippers announced Sunday night that the two sides could not come to an agreement on a contract extension, paving the way for George to move on to a different team.

He joins a Philadelphia team led by two-time scoring champion Joel Embiid and 2023-24 Most Improved Player Tyrese Maxey — but the franchise hasn’t advanced beyond the Eastern Conference semifinals since its last NBA Finals appearance in 2001. Philadelphia went 47-35 this season and was eliminated from the playoffs by the New York Knicks in the first round.

George, 34, looks to fit the Philadelphia 76ers on both ends of the floor. Offensively, George is adept at handling the ball or in isolation. He’s also one of the league’s most effective off-ball stars. George is coming off a season in which he set career highs in field goal percentage (47.1), three-point percentage (41.3) and free throw percentage (90.7). While George has struggled with fumbles at times and has seen his free throw attempt rate decline in recent years, Maxey and Embiid could ease those concerns. Embiid, the 2023 MVP, will be the linchpin of Philadelphia’s offense under coach Nick Nurse, and Maxey averaged 25.9 points per game this season, earning him a first-team All-Star in the process. When George is at his best, the Philadelphia 76ers can count on him. When George wants to hold off, he has plenty of younger stars to let him play in the background.

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On defense, George’s rebounding ability has declined, and he doesn’t do as many defensive plays as he once did. But he’s still a 6-foot-11 defensive player with active hands. The Norris defense has always prioritized forcing fouls, and George is one of the best in the league at creating those fouls.

Ultimately, the 76ers needed to make a move to try to salvage this era of their franchise. Embiid established himself as an elite force alongside Ben Simmons from 2017 to 2021, only for Simmons to fall out with the organization and be traded for James Harden. Ironically, Harden’s trade to the Clippers last year opened the door for the 76ers to sign George. While George, who will be under contract until age 38, may be in the second half of his career, the 76ers have their strongest team on paper since Jimmy Butler left in 2019. Philadelphia now has the third-best odds (8-1) to win the NBA title, according to BetMGM, behind the Boston Celtics (3-1) and Denver Nuggets (15-2) and tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Separately, Philadelphia has agreed to bring back Kelly Oubre Jr. to a two-year, $16.3 million deal, according to a league source. Oubre, 28, averaged 15.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 68 games this season after being traded from Charlotte on a one-year deal.

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(Photo: Harry Howe/Getty Images)

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