NBA Rumors: Knicks checked on Zion, Harden-Clippers update, PG13 extension talks

  • Paul George engaged in active extension talks with Clippers
  • Clippers' pursuit of James Harden is progressing
  • Knicks "checked in" about Zion Williamson during offseason

Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett
Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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NBA Rumors: Paul George hopes to sign extension to retire with Clippers

Paul George will make $45.6 million this season before deciding on a $48.7 million player option for the 2024-25 campaign. That is, unless he signs an extension and settles in for the long haul. That is what George hopes will happen.

In a conversation with reporters after practice, George flatly expressed his desire to retire with the Los Angeles Clippers. He then referred to extension talks as "active," with both sides working to get on the same page.

George's next contract poses a genuine conundrum for the Los Angeles front office. He's still one of the best two-way wings in the NBA when healthy, fresh off a season in which he averaged 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists on .457/.371/.871 splits. His talent is absolutely in line with a max contract.

On the other hand, he's 33 years old and he hasn't played more than 56 regular season games since 2018-19, when he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Injuries have been the central narrative of George's Clippers career and the team has never accomplished much in the postseason since his arrival. The Kawhi Leonard-Paul George partnership is great on paper, but it continues to stall because of factors beyond their control.

Los Angeles could get another boost in the form of James Harden before long, but the pressure on George is tremendous. If he can put together a healthy season and guide the Clippers to a deep run, he will secure the bag. If the Clippers opt for more financial flexibility instead of tethering themselves to an aging star, however, George's wish to retire in his hometown could go unfulfilled.