Clippers Rumors: Paul George, James Harden, Ty Lue, Russell Westbrook

The ongoing consensus around the NBA is that star forward Paul George will want to remain with the Clippers as he heads into free agency, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

George and the Clippers were eliminated by the Mavericks on Friday night in the first round of the playoffs, resulting in another disappointing season for Los Angeles.

Along with the Clippers, George has repeatedly been linked to the 76ers, as our Ashish Mathur most recently relayed here. But LA is believed to have the inside track.

“The Clippers want to retain George as one of their foundational core pieces going into the opening of Intuit Dome later in 2024 and beyond, but extension talks with the nine-time All-Star broke down earlier this season with the organization hoping he’d take less than a max contract in discussions,” Scotto wrote, citing league sources.

  • George could also opt into his contract this July, perhaps opening the door for a trade to teams such as the Kings, Rockets, Mavericks, Heat, “and others looking to acquire another star to fortify their championship-contending chances going into next season,” Scotto wrote.
  • Guard James Harden is another free-agent-to-be this offseason, but multiple reports suggest he wants to return to the Clippers and that the Clippers want him back. A deal is expected to be reached.
  • Scotto wrote: “Ultimately, many around the league expect Harden to remain a Clipper, and the only question is what type of contract the Clippers and Harden will agree upon.”
  • Meanwhile, the Clippers want to sign coach Tyronn Lue to an extension, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. That news is likely to end those Lue-to-the-Lakers rumors.
  •  Lue even spoke on those Lakers reports, saying he wants to stay with the Clippers. “Great to be wanted,” he told reporters. “But like I said, I want to be here, and hopefully we’re able to solidify that.”
  • Things could be considerably more iffy for president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank after the team’s subpar playoff showing, per Scotto.
  • Along with that Scotto noted that forward P.J. Tucker — who sought a trade earlier this season — is expected to pick up his player option, and that the Clippers may decide to deal guard Russell Westbrook or guard Bones Hyland “for depth elsewhere.”

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