In the aftermath of the Los Angeles Clippers’ elimination in this year’s Western Conference semifinals, Paul George’s name has started appearing in trade rumors and ideas. The latest such idea, as discussed by Bleacher Report, would allow the Clippers to acquire Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and wingman Josh Richardson in exchange for George and center Ivica Zubac.
According to the publication’s Greg Swartz, George’s future in Los Angeles appears uncertain following a “terrible” playoff showing, as it’s possible the team will hang on to his fellow superstar forward, Kawhi Leonard, and look for someone else to provide star power in the starting lineup.
Per his Basketball-Reference player page, George averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists and shot just 39.8 percent from the field in 13 postseason games, representing a decline from his regular-season performance in the 2019-20 campaign, where he had per-game averages of 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists and a 43.9 percent shooting clip.
As Swartz explained, the aforementioned transaction would give the Clippers one of the league’s best centers, as Embiid produced 23 points, 11.6 rebounds, three assists, and 1.3 blocks per contest during the 2019-20 regular season. He added that the erstwhile 76ers big man is four years younger than George and will remain under contract until 2023, unlike the Clippers star, who can enter free agency if he opts out of the final year of his contract in the summer of 2021.
As for Richardson, the Bleacher Report writer predicted that he could replace George as a first-stringer if the deal pushes forward.
Talking about how Philadelphia could benefit from the hypothetical transaction, Swartz wrote that George could be a better fit than Embiid while playing alongside point guard Ben Simmons.
“A starting lineup of Simmons, Shake Milton, George, Tobias Harris and Al Horford/Zubac would be one of the best in the East and run more smoothly on offense.”
As further noted, Zubac is currently on a fairly affordable contract and has the potential to step up as the Sixers’ new first-string center, or at least serve as Horford’s backup for one year before he takes over from the veteran.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, rumors of George’s future with the Clippers began to swirl last month when it was claimed that the 30-year-old “did not get rave reviews” from his teammates during exit interviews. Jason McIntyre of Fox Sports speculated at that time that per a source, it wouldn’t be a shock if the forward gets moved in the offseason, with the Brooklyn Nets standing out as his most likely destination.