Clippers must avoid making this crucial mistake with Paul George

The Clippers cannot allow the Paul George situation to be the defining moment of their offseason.
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Clippers have to be on the offensive.

The summer of Paul George has produced a relentless heat wave of scorching theories and flaming takes. With so few high-end players on the open market, every fanbase yearning for a star has a pitch for bringing George to their city. A guy routinely made into a punchline and questioned for his ability to stay on the floor has been made into a savior that can turn a roster into a bonified contender.

As they often are, the Clippers have taken a backseat to the media fervor. In a way, it's understandable. The least exciting destination for George from a narrative standpoint would be Inglewood. For five seasons, his tandem with Kawhi Leonard has produced just one Western Conference Finals birth and a myriad of failures that have left the franchise with more questions than answers. One thing is clear: the current iteration of this team is not working, and management has no idea what to do about it. 

Should George shoulder the brunt of that responsibility? Of course not. He's coming off his best campaign since 2018-19 and has been significantly more available than Leonard. The club prioritized the guy who is a more prominent attraction and theoretically offers more upside. Bringing the duo back together would almost be malpractice, so management must deal with the looming feeling that they bet on the wrong guy and forced George to walk. 

Paul George's likely departure can't dictate the Clippers' summer

If George does decide to take his talents elsewhere, the Clippers must block out the noise. Plenty of pieces will highlight how his tenure was a flop and how the entire organization is a joke. Fans will flood social media comments with similar sentiments, and it'll be a talking point until there's a reason to shift gears. 

Rather than roll over, there are plenty of avenues that can help retool this roster on the fly. With the Intuit Dome and reimagined logo trying to spark a new identity for this tea going forward, a total rebuild seems out of the question. Harden and George off the books could free up a spot for a disgruntled and talented young asset like Darius Garland or Trae Young to revitalize their careers out west. Even in free agency, some veterans could project nicely beside Leonard and offer a necessary boost to a group that clearly doesn't mesh well together. 

There are no more excuses. For once, there has to be a plan. The Clippers mortgaged their future and paid the price, but that shouldn't stop them from trying to salvage this mess. One player can't affect their entire plans. Regardless of where George ends up, it's time for the front office to be on the offensive.