Clippers forward Paul George is eligible to reach unrestricted free agency a year from now, but it doesn’t sound like he has any plans to jump ship. George told reporters today that he’s happy being home in Los Angeles and is “committed” to his current team.
“I want to retire a Clipper,” George said, per Ben Golliver of The Washington Post (Twitter link). “I’ll say that every year. This is where my heart is.”
The Clippers are George’s third NBA team, and he eventually asked his first two teams – the Pacers and Thunder – to trade him. So it’s fair to take his comments today with a grain of salt.
Still, George is a Southern California native and had long wanted to play in L.A. Unless the 2020/21 season ends in even worse fashion for the Clippers than ’19/20 did, there’s no reason at this point to expect the six-time All-Star to seek a new home in free agency — few other teams could realistically offer him a better shot at winning a title in the coming years.
George averaged 21.5 PPG and 5.7 RPG in 48 regular season games in his first season as a Clipper in 2019/20. Those numbers were his lowest in five years, but he was also coming off shoulder surgery and was limited to 29.6 minutes per contest, his lowest-full season average since his rookie year. He’s believed to be 100% entering this year’s training camp.