The LA Clippers are making sure Paul George gets his wish to stay in town for a while.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Clippers are signing George to a four-year, $190 million contract. The deal will reportedly guarantee the All-Star swingman as much as $226 million over the next five seasons, his agent, Aaron Mintz, told Wojnarowski.
The team officially announced the deal shortly after ESPN broke the news.
The Clippers are extending George’s contract for an additional four years, $190M on top of the $35.4M guaranteed him in the 2020-2021 season. George will have a new player option before the 2024-2025 season, Mintz said. https://t.co/3zrOc53WFT
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 10, 2020
Continuing our journey together.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 10, 2020
“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,” said Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in a statement released by the team. “We aspire to create a destination for players, an environment where they can succeed and enjoy their success. We’re delighted by Paul’s pride in representing Clippers fans, honored that he trusts the organization with this chapter of his career, and share in his relentless pursuit of championships. 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.”
“Paul is one of the best and most versatile players in the league, and he has been for about a decade,” said Clippers coach Ty Lue. “He can play on or off the ball. He can score in a variety of different ways. And he can guard almost every position on the court. His skill and leadership will be integral to everything we do for many years to come. I’m thrilled we can continue to build with PG.”
Last week, when the Clippers opened camp for the 2020-21 season, George made it clear to reporters he wanted to stick with the team long term.
The Southern California native acknowledged a desire to retire with the franchise and echoed those sentiments after signing his lucrative extension.
“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,” said George. “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.”
George’s first season back home ended in disappointment, with the Clippers blowing a 3-1 lead against Denver and losing in the second round of the playoffs. He averaged 21.5 points and 5.7 rebounds during the abbreviated season.
George cited inconsistency as the reason for much of what went wrong last season — lack of time together in practice, injuries and players leaving the bubble in Florida for personal reasons.
“I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t able to do the things I was good at or I was comfortable with because my shoulders weren’t at peak performance,” he said.
George says his body feels good again and he’s been putting a lot of hours in on the court.
“I knew last year was a rough year for me. The good thing about that is I’m only 30, I still got a lot of years in the tank,” he said. “It gave me a big motivation going into this season. I’m ready to dive right into this and give everything I have.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.