Paul George will not be leaving Los Angeles anytime quickly. The previous All-Star ahead has signed a contract extension with the Clippers, the team announced Thursday. The deal, which can pay him $190 million over four years, kicks in after this season and runs by way of 2025, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
George’s present contract had a participant choice for subsequent season, and he may have opted out and develop into an unrestricted free agent in the summertime. Now, he is dedicated to the Clippers long run, which supplies the franchise some a lot-wanted safety with considered one of their two stars. The subsequent step, after all, is convincing Kawhi Leonard to do the identical.
The Clippers had been the darlings of the basketball world final summer season, once they pulled off an excellent double-transfer to usher in George and Leonard. However what was presupposed to be a brand new tremendous group in L.A. by no means actually received on monitor. Although they completed the common season with the No. 2 seed within the Western Convention, that was extra by way of sheer expertise quite than being a cohesive unit. Within the bubble, all the pieces fell aside within the second spherical of the playoffs as they blew a 3-1 result in the Denver Nuggets.
Since then, there’s been some huge modifications across the Clippers. Doc Rivers was eliminated as head coach and changed by Ty Lue, whereas in free company Montrezl Harrell and JaMychal Green left, and Serge Ibaka arrived. There’s additionally been a number of media cycles rehashing what went fallacious final season, together with damning experiences and public finger pointing.
George, maybe unsurprisingly, was in the course of all of it. He struggled for a lot of the playoffs, and was a no-present in Recreation 7 in opposition to the Nuggets, placing up 10 factors on 4 of 16 from the sector. Since then, experiences have indicated a lack of respect for George in the locker room from different gamers, which was maybe partly resulting from reported preferential treatment that he and Leonard received from the franchise.
If that wasn’t sufficient, George publicly blamed Rivers for not using him correctly.
“The best way I used to be getting used, I felt Doc was attempting to play me as like a Ray Allen or like a JJ Redick, all pin-downs. I can do it, however that ain’t my recreation,” George stated on the “All The Smoke” podcast. “I want some circulation, I want some mixes of decide-and-rolls, I want some submit-ups, simply completely different touches, what I imply? That final season was simply exhausting general.”
He additionally criticized Rivers for failing to make changes in opposition to the Nuggets.
“On the finish of the day I do not assume we deserved it,” George continued. “We wasn’t ready sufficient going into it — simply us making changes standpoint. We wasn’t ready. We did not put the work into it. It was form of identical to, ‘Yo, we received P.G., we received Kawhi, we received [Lou Williams], [Montrezl Harrell]. We gonna be straight. We gonna determine it out.'”
In response, Rivers said everyone needed to accept some responsibility, and foreshadowed the potential for continued points in L.A.
“So not loads to say there,” Rivers stated. “Ty Lue was sitting proper subsequent to me. So he higher hope it isn’t changes. It ain’t going to be a lot completely different … Hear, we misplaced the sport. I feel everyone must take possession. [Me] clearly. We are able to all the time do higher. Gamers can play higher. So so far as I am involved, I will depart it there.”
George can play higher than he did within the playoffs, and the Clippers’ determination to provide him one other $190 million over four years exhibits how assured they’re in him. However as final season proved, the mere presence of George and Leonard is not any assure of a championship.