Could LA Clippers star leave for Eastern Conference?

Will Paul George remain on the LA Clippers this summer?
Will Paul George remain on the LA Clippers this summer? / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Nothing makes NBA fans uneasy like free agency. It's one thing to lose your favorite player in a trade. It's another thing to lose your favorite player and get nothing in return. 

That's a risk that some LA Clippers fans are currently facing. Paul George has not signed an extension with the team. He's likely to hit free agency this summer. Predictably, the rumors are starting to heat up. 

Could LA Clippers star bolt to Eastern Conference? 

The Clippers are struggling. It was George himself who said that they'd lost their identity. Those are not the sentiments you want to hear from a player set to hit free agency. 

The rumors suggest that some Eastern Conference teams have got an eye on George. The Philadelphia 76ers seem like the most likely suspects. They'll create a tremendous amount of cap space this summer. In theory, they could outright sign George away from the Clippers. 

Otherwise, the Orlando Magic feel like a potential suitor. It's also hard to discount the Miami Heat - they have a way of attracting star free agents. A reunion with the Indiana Pacers also looms as a possibility. Is George really due for departure? 

LA Clippers fans don't need to panic - yet

Take a deep breath. Now, take another one. 

George is still donning a Clippers uniform. It shouldn't come as a shock that he hasn't signed an extension yet. George is 33. This is likely his last bite at the apple. 

It serves him to be discerning. George may be holding out for the best available deal. With that said, he may also be holding out for the Clippers to improve their performance. 

LA Clippers control their own fate 

If the Clippers want to retain George, they need to find themselves. It would be optimal to improve their regular season seeding. Still, in all likelihood, their offseason plans will be dictated by their postseason finish. 

It's worth noting that James Harden has a player option this summer as well. There is potential for this team to implode. On the other hand, they have one of the most talented rosters in the NBA. The Clippers also have the potential to explode. 

If they can't, don't be shocked if George finds his way to the Eastern Conference.