Paul George Gets Kawhi Leonard’s Blessing for 76ers Move Despite Clippers Disappointment

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Paul George
Paul George (NBA)

Paul George recently revealed on Podcast P that Kawhi Leonard supported his decision to leave the Los Angeles Clippers and join the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency. According to George, he felt a debt of gratitude to Leonard and informed him directly about his intention to move on from the Clippers after negotiations with the team did not meet his expectations.

George explained that Leonard, whom he considers one of his closest friends in the league, understood his decision and encouraged him to prioritize his own interests, saying, “Go get your bag like P, go get your bag. I can’t even be mad at you.”

Despite his strong personal bond with Leonard and their shared goal of winning in LA, George acknowledged the difficulty of leaving his friend and teammate. He emphasized the mutual respect and support between them, noting that Leonard gave him his blessings to pursue what he felt was best for his career.

George’s departure marks the end of a five-season stint with the Clippers, during which he set a franchise record for three-pointers. Meanwhile, Leonard committed to the Clippers with a long-term extension earlier in the year, signaling his intention to remain with the team through 2027.

Paul George
Paul George (NBA)

Reflecting on the contract negotiations that led to his decision to leave LA, George expressed initial disappointment with the Clippers’ offers. He disclosed that early proposals were lower than expected, leading to protracted negotiations that ultimately didn’t align with his career aspirations.

George insisted that his desire to stay in LA was strong initially, but unresolved contract terms and the team’s handling of negotiations prompted him to explore other options.

The situation escalated when George learned of the salary disparity between his offers and what Leonard was being offered. Feeling undervalued and underappreciated, George pushed for a deal similar to Leonard’s but was ultimately unable to secure satisfactory terms from the Clippers.

In the end, George’s decision to join the 76ers was influenced by the maximum contract offer they presented him, which he felt better reflected his value and commitment to winning.

Despite his departure, George maintains respect and appreciation for Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and president Lawrence Frank, acknowledging their roles in his tenure with the team.

George’s departure represents a significant development for the Clippers, who aimed to retain both him and Leonard for the long term. With Leonard’s extension and the recent re-signing of James Harden, the Clippers’ roster continues to evolve, albeit without George in their future plans.

While George’s decision to leave LA was a tough one, he received understanding and support from Leonard, highlighting the camaraderie and mutual respect between the two stars amidst the realities of professional sports and contract negotiations.


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