Paul George addressed concerns about his team’s upcoming free agents after the LA Clippers suffered a 130-103 blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
While the Suns have booked a trip to the NBA Finals, the Clippers are left to consider their future this offseason, with several potential free agents, including Kawhi Leonard.
After Wednesday’s game, Paul George spoke about his plans to recruit his teammates and make them return to Los Angeles next season.
“One of the commitments that I made signing was to show that I’m here for the long run,” George said in his postgame interview. “Hopefully that weighs on anybody’s decision, but it’s no hard feelings… Definitely will try my hardest to recruit and that’s all I can do.”
Leonard is expected to decline his player option worth $36 million for the 2021-22 season. He will be the biggest free agent on the market this summer, and the uncertainty over his status will weigh heavily on the LA Clippers until he re-signs with them.
Marcus Morris Sr., however, is quite certain that the two-time Finals MVP will be back next season.
“We get him back next year,” Morris said. “Yeah, I said it. We get him back next year, and we continue to go forward and keep building.”
Paul George and the LA Clippers’ free agents
When asked about teammate Reggie Jackson’s playoff performance and free agency, Paul George didn’t hide his desire to see the veteran guard in the LA Clippers uniform again.
“Yeah, but obviously Reggie has played himself into some options, for sure, coming down to free agency,” George replied. “Rightfully so, he played his a** off, but of course I would love Reggie to come back.”
Jackson was non-committal in his response to questions about his free agency but said he loved his time with the LA Clippers, nonetheless.
“This city’s been special to me,” Jackson said. “I can’t predict the future, I have no idea what happens, but this city, this organization, this fanbase… They’re special. I’m thankful for this opportunity. I’ll forever be a Clipper.”
Paul George has plenty of recruiting to do in the coming months. Aside from Leonard and Ibaka, the LA Clippers’ other free agents include Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, DeMarcus Cousins, Amir Coffey and Patrick Patterson.
Despite missing Leonard and Ibaka during the entire series, and Ivica Zubac midway through, the LA Clippers were able to extend the Western Conference Finals to six games. Their valiant effort ended on Wednesday, but Paul George and company had one of the most inspiring runs of the postseason after coming back from 0-2 deficits in the previous two rounds.
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