Trade Rumors: George, Bucks, Centers, Lakers, Murray

Although Paul George sits atop our list of 2024’s top 50 free agents, there’s a chance that the Clippers forward won’t actually become a free agent this offseason. George could sign an extension to remain in Los Angeles before free agency begins. There’s also another scenario worth keeping an eye on in the next week or so, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who has mentioned during multiple recent podcasts and TV appearances that an opt-in-and-trade could be an option for George (hat tip to RealGM).

George holds a $48.8MM player option for 2024/25, and if he decides he wants to join a team that doesn’t have the cap room necessary to sign him as a free agent, he could pick up his option in conjunction with a trade agreement in order to allow the Clippers to get something back for him while getting him to his preferred destination. A former Clipper, Chris Paul, took this route in 2017 in order to accommodate a trade from Los Angeles to Houston.

While it sounds more like speculation than hard reporting, Windhorst has repeatedly referred to the Knicks as a suitor who would make sense in this scenario, since they could offer a strong combination of rotation players and draft assets in a trade package for George (Twitter video link).

If George opts for free agency, a sign-and-trade deal in which the Clippers acquire multiple players for him likely wouldn’t be possible, since a new CBA rule prohibits second-apron teams from taking back salary in exchange for a signed-and-traded player.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Windhorst said during an appearance on Friday’s episode of First Take (YouTube link) that the Bucks may look to shake up their core this offseason, though neither Giannis Antetokounmpo nor Damian Lillard is considered a trade candidate. “There’s starting to be rumblings that (Bucks head coach) Doc Rivers is looking for a change or two to some of their core pieces,” Windhorst said. “Not Dame or Giannis, but potentially looking at another maneuver they could make to alter their team.” Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported earlier today that Milwaukee center Brook Lopez is viewed as a possible trade candidate.
  • The Lakers, Grizzlies, and Pelicans are a few of the teams who are “closely monitoring” the market for centers this offseason, according to Ian Begley of, who took a closer look at whether New York will consider moving Mitchell Robinson. Like Lopez, Robinson has been cited as a potential trade candidate.
  • Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday (Twitter video link), Shams Charania of The Athletic suggested that the Lakers may renew their pursuit of a Hawks guard in the coming days. “They have to be aggressive,” Charania said. “One name that they did pursue last season at the trade deadline that teams around the league expect to come up again in trade conversations over the next week or so and makes sense for the Lakers is Dejounte Murray of the Hawks.” Atlanta is widely expected to trade either Murray or Trae Young this summer — Young has also previously been mentioned as a possible Lakers target.
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