2020 has been a rough year for all of us, but it’s been a particularly ugly year for the
Los Angeles Temecula Clippers. After spending their 2019-20 offseason assembling the closest thing to Thanos and the Black Order that the NBA has seen in recent memory, the team left their Infinity Gauntlet at home and embarrassed themselves in the playoffs, blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals.
There’ve been personnel changes and plenty of finger-pointing in the time since, but with another NBA season on the horizon, it’s clear that the Clippers remain committed to NBA superstar Paul George.
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’s player option for the upcoming season will be replaced with the extension, which includes a new player option for the 2024-25 season.
On July 10, 2019, George was traded to the Clippers from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round draft picks, and the rights to swap two other first-round picks in the future.
“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,” Paul said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” Lawrence Frank, Clippers president of basketball operations, said in a statement. “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.”
The Clippers’ next order of business? Beg and plead Kawhi Leonard to do the exact same thing.
When healthy, George is a dominant player on both ends of the floor, but it’s Kawhi who elevates this organization to championship contention. His penchant for load management and commitment issues are well-documented, so don’t expect the former Toronto Raptor to follow suit and sign on the dotted ahead of this upcoming season. George could care less apparently, as he’s made it clear he owes a debt of gratitude to the Clippers organization regardless of how things play out with Kawhi.
“I owe them a trophy,” George said. “That’s what I owe this organization. This is a window that we’re trying to capture. And my commitment and my job is to try to bring a title here.”
That sounds all well and good, but we all know avoiding accountability is Paul George’s mutant power.
Let us hope and pray the Clippers don’t embarrass themselves again this season, or even with a brand new deal, George could find himself exiled from the kingdom like Blake Griffin.