Atlantic Notes: Embiid, George, Oubre, Finals

Sixers center Joel Embiid and Clippers forward Paul George appeared together on ABC’s “NBA Countdown” program Friday ahead of Game 4 of the Finals, prompting speculation that there could be mutual interest in a Philadelphia team-up this summer, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Hopefully, this offseason we find a way to get better and add some pieces,” Embiid said, while shooting a meaningful glance in the direction of George, who was seated next to him.

George, 34, has a $48.8MM player option for the 2024/25 season, and the Sixers could easily carve out maximum-salary cap space. George and the Clippers have yet to come to terms on a new contract extension deal. While the 6’10” forward, a nine-time All-Star, remains a pretty lethal two-way threat, he has struggled with injury issues over the past several seasons.

Pompey writes that, should George become available in free agency, the Sixers think a trio of George, Embiid and All-Star point guard Tyrese Maxey could be enough to help the team compete for championship hardware in 2024/25.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers small forward Kelly Oubre Jr., an unrestricted free agent this summer, has signed with CAA to represent him, the agency announced (via Twitter). The 6’7″ swingman enjoyed a solid debut season with Philadelphia on a veteran’s minimum contract. He played so well, in fact, that he seems to be in line for a major raise this summer. Across 68 games (52 starts), he averaged 15.4 points on a .441/.311/.750 slash line, plus 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks.
  • A 122-84 Game 4 massacre in their Finals series with the Mavericks felt like déjà vu to the Celtics, notes Steve Buckley of The Athletic. Dallas, with its back against the wall trailing 3-0 in the series, responded in a huge way, and looks to have some fight left after all. Boston found itself in an 0-3 hole last season, in the Eastern Conference Finals, to the Heat. The Celtics managed to make it a series, winning the next three straight to push Miami to a Game 7, which the Heat won. “A year ago this time, we were down 0-3 and we were essentially fighting for our lives,” All-NBA Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said. “So very short answer, yeah, we understand what it’s like from their point of view, and you know, they came out super aggressive.”
  • In case you missed it, Celtics All-Defensive guard Derrick White is looking like a favorite to replace injured All-NBA Clippers wing Kawhi Leonard on Team USA in next month’s Paris Olympics, should Leonard not recover in time. White could work out a contract extension this summer to stay with Boston. A strong showing for Team USA could help strengthen his case.
View Comments (20)