How should the LA Clippers handle Paul George's contract situation?

Paul George, LA Clippers
Paul George, LA Clippers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the LA Clippers' historic success this season, fans worldwide have been pondering Paul George and his player option, which is due during the offseason. There has been speculation that he will decline and pick the team of his choice, but there has been optimism that he will opt in and run it back in Intuit Dome.

After Kawhi Leonard signed a three-year extension in early January, it seemed evident that the front office would offer George a max contract extension. He has been a perennial star for years, carrying the franchise to a place they have never been. However, the front office seems hesitant about whether George has the value of a max contract at age 33.

Ten-time all-star James Harden will also play a role in the decision, as he is a free agent with expectations that he will receive a lucrative deal. If Harden elects to take a pay cut and resign, George will likely opt-in and sign a long-term deal. However, if Harden chooses to leave, George will likely choose his destination based on money or championship aspirations.

The best option is to be patient and see how George performs in the postseason.

The LA Clippers are currently in a great position to make a run at the NBA Finals. With Paul George and James Harden at full health, head coach Tyronn Lue has enough firepower to take down the Dallas Mavericks. If Kawhi Leonard makes his return, it is clear this could be the year the Clippers go all the way.

Furthermore, George will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Not only is he playing for a more profitable deal, but he is one of LA's leading forces in guiding the franchise to a first-ever championship victory. Though not alone, he must lock in mentally and shut out all background noise in preparation for what is at stake.

If the Clippers do not meet expectations, the front office should not rush to make an offer. If they believe they are still in a position to keep fighting for a ring, their best option is to allow George to stay in LA on a contract similar to Leonard's. Conversely, if the plan is to rebuild, it may be time to part ways with the nine-time all-star.

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That said, George's contract will depend on what the Clippers accomplish in the postseason. Resigning George will signify that the team is trending toward another push at the NBA Finals. This could be the right move, but the front office must consider the age of its superstars and where the team is headed in the near future.