Clippers Find Backup Plan for Potential Paul George Departure

The Los Angeles Clippers might lose their All-NBA forward this summer. Fortunately, they have a backup plan in place.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers are once again going to be one of the most active teams of the offseason. They already extended the contract of head coach Ty Lue and now turn their attention to their free agents. The no. 1 priority for the team this summer will be retaining their star wing, Paul George.

George is hitting unrestricted free agency this summer and he will likely be the most prized free agent on the market. The Clippers have reportedly refused to give him a contract extension offer higher than Kawhi Leonard's three-year, $153 deal, which pushes PG13 towards exploring other opportunities.

The most likely destinations for George include the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic, who have the cap space to offer him the contract he desires.

If George prioritizes finances over being in Los Angeles, he is a good candidate to switch teams this summer.

Fortunately for Clippers fans, it sounds like LA has a backup plan. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Clippers are interested in acquiring DeMar DeRozan as a replacement for George.

"One team worth monitoring as a potential suitor for DeRozan via sign-and-trade is the Los Angeles Clippers, should the franchise fail to re-sign Paul George in free agency, HoopsHype has learned."

Michael Scotto, HoopsHype

DeRozan is hitting free agency as well but the Clippers don't have the resources to sign him outright. Therefore, they have to pull off a sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls, where they send some salary their way. Whether the Bulls have any interest in facilitating this transaction is another question since they have been adamant in holding onto their veterans to chase the eight-seed for the past few seasons.

George and DeRozan are not the same player. They play the same position but DeRozan doesn't bring the defensive intensity and versatility that George does. DeRozan is an offense-first player who likes to operate in the mid-range. He doesn't take too many threes. The fact that his offensive game is similar to Kawhi Leonard's makes him a difficult fit on the Clippers.

Plus, he is 34 years old. He has never been a good defender and he will only get worse from now on. He may be the best player the Clippers can replace George with but if they do, they will almost certainly get worse on the floor.

DeRozan, a Compton native, has expressed a desire to play in Los Angeles at various times before. So, this move may be likely but how beneficial it will actually be for the Clippers is debatable.

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