Clippers back to penny-pinching ways after end of Paul George era

Following Paul George's free agency departure, the Clippers are finally back below the luxury tax once again.
Tyronn Lue, Steve Ballmer
Tyronn Lue, Steve Ballmer / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Clippers are headed into a new era next season as they will finally make the move out of Crypto dot com Arena to the brand new Intuit Dome. This was already an indicator of massive change for the organization. But now, following the draft and the start of the free agency period, we know that the team's roster will look vastly different as well.

Paul George will be taking his talents to the Philadelphia 76ers, leaving the franchise he joined along with Kawhi Leonard back in 2019. Clippers fans certainly were and still are frustrated at his decision, but the front office has already begun to fill the holes left behind by his decision.

Re-signing James Harden was a massive move to ensure LA stays in contention, and acquiring Derrick Jones Jr. gave the Clippers another high-level role player to put next to their stars. From there, plenty of smaller moves have been made to strengthen the roster and add depth.

But when George left, there was one less-discussed aspect of his departure. His massive salary came off the board for LA, and the Clippers are now expected to be below the luxury tax line for the first time in years.

The Clippers will be below the luxury tax

According to ESPN Front Office Insider Bobby Marks, both the Clippers and Warriors are now both going to be below the luxury tax in 2024-25 for the first time since the 2019-20 season. For those unaware, the luxury tax is simply a penalty originally enacted to motivate high-payroll teams to avoid exceeding the salary cap.

More recently, the first and second aprons were added to the league's collective bargaining agreement as a means to further keep spending from mega-rich owners in check. So it is of course a major development that the Clippers will now be out of the category of teams trying to cut spending to avoid incurring major penalties.

Management will have more flexibility in signing new players this offseason, and we have already seen their freedom at work in bringing on multiple new role players that will have the potential to elevate this team. This is yet another hallmark of the new era of Clippers basketball, and exciting things are on the way.