ESPN recommends wild stipulation in Paul George contract (that can be disastrous)

One of ESPN's experts suggested a caveat to a potential Paul George contract that would be an utter disaster.
Paul George, LA Clippers
Paul George, LA Clippers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

As we all know, the LA Clippers' situation with Paul George is a massively important one. He is the biggest question mark of the offseason right now, and whatever decision he opts to make regarding his free agency will trigger a domino effect that sets up the rest of the Clippers' offseason.

George still has until June 29 to opt in to his $48.8 million player option with the Clippers for next season. Doing so would likely mean he either plans to sign long-term with LA again, or that he would be seeking some sort of sign-and-trade agreement with the team that he believed would be better done after this offseason.

In a recent piece for ESPN, NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks wrote about several popular upcoming free agents and broke down their situations (subscription required). He also explained his exact contract predictions for each one, including George. The deal he envisions for PG is a three-year, $150 million deal that includes a no-trade clause.

Bobby Marks suggested a no-trade clause for George

This hypothetical deal would be for whatever team Paul ends up joining. Of course, if he were to propose this exact contract to the Clippers and they were to oblige, it could end up as a huge misstep.

The biggest reason this type of deal should be a no-go for the Clippers is the no-trade clause. The money is fine considering George's production and the fact that Kawhi Leonard took less money than he could have in his January extension, presumably to allow a contract like this for PG to be viable.

But a no-trade clause would be potentially disatrous. The only other player in the NBA currently with a no-trade clause in his contract is Bradley Beal, and we saw how that ended up for the Washington Wizards last June.

When the Eastern Conference bottom-dwellers were forced to move their star player, their options were severely limited due to the no-trade clause. Beal clearly wanted to go to Phoenix, and he had all the negotiating power with this specific caveat in his contract. As such, Beal ended up where he desired, while Washington's return was perhaps less than desireable.

The Clippers have to know that if they put themselves in this situation, it could end in disaster. Employing a player with a no-trade clause can significantly hamper your options when it comes to negotiating trades, and the front office may be forced to accept a lesser offer. LA would be wise to avoid this situation at all costs.