Sixers Rumors: George, Butler, Anunoby, KCP, LaVine, Maxey

A report last week suggested the Sixers‘ interest in acquiring Clippers star Paul George has “waned,” but sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that Philadelphia still has “significant interest” in signing George if he opts for free agency.

George, the number one name on our list of this year’s top 50 free agents, has until Saturday to decide whether to exercise his $48.8MM option for next season. If George is unable to reach an extension agreement with L.A. by then, he can either decline the option and test free agency or opt in and demand a trade.

George has long been considered an offseason priority for Philadelphia, which has the ability to create more than $60MM in cap room. The Magic are among the teams that are also expected to pursue George if he reaches the open market.

Sources inform Scotto that a trade for Heat forward Jimmy Butler remains a viable option for the Sixers if they can’t acquire George. Butler spent most of the 2018/19 season in Philadelphia before being traded to Miami and has maintained a strong relationship with Joel Embiid.

Another option, according to Scotto, could be a “short-term, higher market average annual salary” deal with Knicks free agent forward OG Anunoby. Scotto also hears the Sixers may also offer Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a two-year contract similar to what Bruce Brown got last year, with a large salary for next season and a team option for 2025/26.

There’s more on the Sixers, all courtesy of Scotto:

  • Sources tell Scotto that Philadelphia has less interest in trading for Bulls guard Zach LaVine now that Alex Caruso can no longer be part of the deal. Caruso was shipped to Oklahoma City on Friday in a trade for Josh Giddey. The Sixers are reluctant to take on the three years and $138MM left on LaVine’s contract without other assets attached.
  • Tyrese Maxey is considered virtually certain to sign a max extension this summer, but Klutch CEO Rich Paul may want something in return for waiting a year while the team worked to maximize its cap space, Scotto adds. He suggests Paul might ask for a player option on the final year of Maxey’s next contract, along with a 15% trade kicker. 
  • With Buddy Hield possibly departing in free agency, Scotto sees Baylor guard Ja’Kobe Walter as a potential replacement in the draft. He notes that Walter has a 6’10” wingspan and is considered a much better perimeter defender than Hield.
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