My Take on Paul George’s Massive Extension with the Clippers
Earlier last week, the Los Angeles Clippers and Paul George agreed on a Maximum 4-year, $190 Million contract that will begin after this season and will see Paul George in a Clipper uniform through 2025. The Clippers are now on the hook to pay George $226 Million over the next 5 seasons in LA.
Paul George is coming off yet another disappearing act in the Playoffs. The self-proclaimed ‘Playoff P’ is notorious for playing poorly come crunch time. Naturally, after news of the new contract broke, the internet did what it does best. Social media absolutely trolled the Clippers for this foolish contract to a guy who seemingly has his talents taken by the ‘Monstars’ from Space Jam every time his team is in the postseason.
The craziest thing about this deal is that this new contract will see the Clippers shell out $49 Million to Paul George when he is 35 years of age. $49 Million is a large chunk of their salary cap, and they just locked themselves in to another 5 years of imminent disappointment from ‘Playoff P’ ‘Pandemic P’ Payoff P’ Whatever you want to call him.
If I am Kawhi Leonard, I am pulling the same stunt I did in San Antonio until I get traded to another team because with this contract, the Clippers have cemented themselves into mediocrity until 2026 at the earliest. This new deal for PG13 drastically reduces their odds of keeping Kawhi Leonard. Don’t get me wrong, Paul George is a phenomenal regular season NBA player. He will have an impact on both ends of the floor for the Clippers and put up his usual stats throughout the 72 games leading up to the postseason, but it is not a fluke anymore. The man goes into a shell come playoff time.
The notion that he plays poorly in the playoffs is no longer a joke. It is now a known thing around the league. He is a feared player in the regular season, but when the playoffs roll around, opposing defenses are begging him to shoot the ball.
At first, you thought… Okay, just one season of a bad playoff performance, he will be back next year and prove everybody wrong. The next year rolls around and he dominates the regular season per usual. Then comes the post-season. Everything is faster, the defense is more tenacious, the refs are swallowing their whistles a bit, and Paul George goes ghost mode.
I don’t care who you are… you cannot handicap your franchise by giving out that large of a contract to a guy who cannot perform when the chips are down. You just can’t. An all-time poor move from the Los Angeles Clippers that will undoubtedly have repercussions far into the foreseeable future.
The repercussions will not just be on the court. The fanbase will let the front office hear their disgust when things inevitably go south. The Clippers will fall short of landing big name free agents because they see that this organization has zero shot of playoff success let alone a Championship so long as Paul George is the highest paid player on the team. This contract looks horrendous from all angles. It makes you wonder what the Clippers front office was thinking.
The funny thing about this story is that Paul George criticized former Clippers head coach, Doc Rivers after his departure to Philadelphia. George said ’The way I was being used, I felt Doc was trying to play me as like a Ray Allen like a JJ Redick, all pin-downs. I can do it, but it ain’t my game… I need some flow, I need some mixes of pick-and-rolls, I need some post-ups, just different touches.’
So, Paul George things that Doc Rivers and the coaching staff was the problem. He said the coaching staff which included new Clippers head coach, Ty Lou failed to make adjustments throughout games that caused Paul George and Clippers to play poorly and ultimately lose to the Nuggets in the Conference Semi-Finals.
Doc Rivers responded to these allegations by saying ‘Hey listen, I enjoyed coaching him… so not a lot to say there. Ty Lou was sitting right next to me. So, he [Paul George] better hope its not adjustments. It ain’t going to be much different.’
A classic Doc Rivers quote. He did not say much, but what he did say said absolutely everything. If Paul George thinks things will be different due to adjustments, he will be sadly mistaken as Ty Lou is now the head coach, and from the sound of it, Doc Rivers thinks Ty Lou will run the offenses similarly to how Doc ran it. If this is the case, then Paul George could be in for a long season in Los Angeles.
Just another storyline to watch out for as the NBA regular season gets ready to tip off in just over a week.