Six-time All-Star forward Paul George has signed a maximum contract extension with the LA Clippers that guarantees him as much as $226 million over the next five years, his agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA Sports, told ESPN. The Clippers are extending George’s contract for an additional four years at $190 million on top of the $35.4 million guaranteed him for the 2020-21 season. George had a player option for the 2021-22 seasons that will be replaced with the four-year extension, which includes a new player option for the 2024-25 season, Mintz said.
The contract numbers are likely to be affected by lower annual percentage rises in the salary cap because of significant losses in league revenues. George is eligible to be paid 35% of the Clippers’ overall salary cap. This extension is connected to the four-year, $137 million contract that George signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018. In all, George will have turned that Thunder contract and this deal into a massive total of seven years and $290 million.
George had been determined to return to his Southern California roots and now is contractually committed through the prime of his career with the Clippers. The extension solidifies one of the Clippers’ cornerstone players for the long term, a franchise priority in the aftermath of surrendering a massive package of players and draft picks to Oklahoma City to acquire George at the start of free agency in 2019. George’s addition served as a catalyst for Kawhi Leonard to commit to a free-agent deal with the Clippers and create a tandem expected to compete for NBA championships.
The next step for securing the franchise’s future will be centered on re-signing Leonard, who could become a free agent after this season. George was a first-team All-NBA player for the Thunder in 2018-19 and four times has been voted to the All-NBA third team. He has been All-Defensive first or second team four times. He made a remarkable comeback from a devastating leg injury suffered in the summer of 2014 playing with Team USA. After missing most of the 2014-15 season, George overcame uncertainty about whether he would ever be an elite player in the NBA again.
In 10 NBA seasons with the Indiana Pacers, Thunder and Clippers, George has averaged 20.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Can George return to his 2019 form where he was a serious MVP candidate?