NBA bubble on this: Paul George is in this for the long haul with the Los Angeles Clippers. George, widely criticized for his efforts in the Clippers’ Western Conference semifinals meltdown against the Denver Nuggets, in which they led the series 3-1 before bowing out of the NBA title chase, will now probably retire as a Clipper.
The Clippers announced two weeks before the NBA regular season that the team has signed the six-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA forward to a multi-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
It has been reported that George’s deal is for four years for $190 million. That’s a lot of change.
“This is an important moment for our franchise and our fans, to secure a long-term commitment from one of the premier two-way players in the NBA,” said Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. “We aspire to create a destination for players, an environment where they can succeed and enjoy their success. We’re delighted by Paul’s pride in representing Clippers fans, honored that he trusts the organization with this chapter of his career, and share in his relentless pursuit of championships. We admire his talent, his dedication and his unwavering allegiance to this region. We’re excited for the opportunity to accomplish our mutual goals together.”
“Paul is one of the best and most versatile players in the league, and he has been for about a decade,” said Clippers head coach Ty Lue. “He can play on or off the ball. He can score in a variety of different ways. And he can guard almost every position on the court. His skill and leadership will be integral to everything we do for many years to come. I’m thrilled we can continue to build with PG.”
In his first season with the Clippers, George averaged 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and shot a career-high 41.2 percent from beyond the arc. His career defensive rating is 102.29, tied for seventh among all active players. George set several franchise records in his first campaign with LA, becoming the first player in team history to score at least 30 points in his first two games, which included the most points in a Clippers home debut (37). George made five three-pointers or more in 12 games, a new franchise mark, and he made the most three-pointers by a Clippers player in a single postseason, with 37 in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
“As a kid growing up in Southern California, I always dreamed of playing in Los Angeles, where my friends and family could come watch me play,” said George. “I am so grateful to Steve Ballmer, Lawrence Frank, Coach Ty Lue, my teammates, and the entire Clippers organization for believing in me. I am proud to call this my home and look forward to doing my part in helping make the team a tremendous success – both on and off the court – in the years ahead.”
A native of Palmdale, Calif., George was acquired by the Clippers on July 10, 2019. In December of 2019, the City of Palmdale hosted “Paul George Day,” a festival to unveil seven newly constructed and refurbished basketball courts at four local parks at which George grew up playing. The Paul George Foundation has been a driving force in the community, with programs benefiting underprivileged children and raising awareness for stroke prevention.
Originally selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, George has appeared in 652 career games, averaging 20.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists with the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Clippers. The 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist is one of four active players in the NBA with at least 13,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,500 three-pointers. George, 30, has been named to the All-Defensive Team four times and was the 2013 Most Improved Player.
George spent two collegiate seasons at Fresno State, averaging 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists over 63 games. His No. 24 jersey was retired by the Bulldogs in the fall of 2019.