Since blowing a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star small forward Paul George and his future with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers traded for the forward with the hope that pairing him with Kawhi Leonard would give them a legitimate chance of dominating the Western Conference and winning their first NBA championship last season. Unfortunately, PG struggled to be consistent on both ends of the floor and has failed to live up to expectations as the Clippers’ second-best player.
The team may not have shown any indication that they are planning to move George in the 2020 offseason, but there are some prominent personalities in the NBA, including Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, who are urging them to trade the All-Star small forward.
In a recent appearance on The Big Podcast with Shaq, O’Neal explained why the Clippers should move on from George and use him as a trade chip to acquire two solid players this fall.
“You gotta use [George] to get 2 good solid players because I need Kawhi to be the man. See Kawhi, I don’t want Kawhi to delegate,” O’Neal said, as quoted by TMZ Sports. “See, when Kawhi was with Toronto he knew he was the man, everybody knew he was the man. Now you got one guy that thinks he’s the man, one guy that is the man.”
When they arrived in Los Angeles last summer, it was crystal clear who the main man was and who was the sidekick between Leonard and George. However, O’Neal isn’t fully convinced that the former Pacers and Thunder star has really embraced the role as the second fiddle, believing he still views himself as “the man.”
Leonard and George are indeed two of the best two-way players in the league, but it would be hard to see them finding success on the court if they both want to remain the alpha males on the team.
Aside from being confused with his role, another reason why the Clippers should trade George is his souring relationship with his teammates. In Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinals matchup against the Nuggets, George had a verbal altercation with Montrezl Harrell after the former refused to take responsibility for the costly turnovers during the game.
When they got eliminated by the Nuggets, George tried to offer some words of encouragement to his teammates in the locker room, but his act was reportedly met with “eye rolls and bewilderment.”
If he fails to show improvement with his on-court performance and his relationship with his teammates, it might be best for the Clippers to follow Shaq’s advice and get rid of George this offseason.