LAC rolls the dice on PG By Ryan Kelsey
The Los Angeles Clippers and forward Paul George came to an agreement on Thursday to a contract extension which will keep the six-time All Star in LA through 2025. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is a max contract as George will be making $190 million over four years.
The Southern California native was drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers after playing college basketball at Fresno State. In his seven seasons with the Pacers, George was selected as a first-team All-Defensive player during the 2013 -2014
season, along with being named second-team All-Rookie during the 2010 - 2011 campaign, and was selected to four All-Star games. With the Pacers he also led the team to the playoffs six times… but this is where George and his playing style take a hit as he has never been able to advance to the NBA Finals and does not show up in big series.
Despite making the playoffs, George never led the Pacers to an NBA Finals appearance as the furthest the team advanced to was the Conference Finals. In the 2013 -2014 season the Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals after defeating the Knicks but then lost to the Miami Heat in a best of seven-game series, 4 - 3. The following season the Pacers made it back to the Eastern Conference Finals, but once again, lost to the Heat. After the 2016 - 2017 season contrary to George saying that he did not want to leave the Pacers, just a few short months later, he requested to be traded and ended up going to Oklahoma to play for the Thunder where he spent two seasons in OKC before being traded again, this time to the Clippers.
In his first season with the Clippers PG averaged 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. He also had a career best shooting from the three-point arc making 41.2% of his attempted three’s. Not only did PG have himself a career year, but he immediately made an impact on the Clippers organization as he set numerous franchise records like becoming the first player to score 30 points in his first two games, most points scored in a Clippers home debut as he scored 37 points, and then making the most three-pointers in a single postseason as he made 37 three’s in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
Before George agreed to a contract extension to stay in LA, there had been speculation across the NBA and from fans that George might not stay with the Clippers despite publicly saying that he wanted to stay in LA. George is known for making bold statements about wanting to stay in one city, and then packing his bags and playing for a different franchise. In 2017 George claimed that he never wanted to leave the Pacers and then a couple of months later requested to be traded in which he was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Then, in 2018 he again said that he wanted to win a championship in OKC but was once again traded, but this time to the LA Clippers. Before signing the contract extension with the Clippers he expressed that he wants to retire a Clipper, but after seeing the pattern of making claims and not following through on them, it will be interesting to see if George stays true to his word or not.
The Clippers finished last season in a disappointing way as the team blew a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Denver Nuggets. Now, with PG signed for the long term, the Clippers will look to George to put up or shut up and pray that PG will play inspired and motivated to lead the team to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history.