Paul George showed his true colors in contract negotiations with Clippers

New details were revealed from Paul George's contract discussions that resulted in him leaving Los Angeles.
Paul George, LA Clippers
Paul George, LA Clippers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

There was a lot of optimism that Paul George would be able to come to an agreement with the LA Clippers in contract negotiations during this offseason. After all, he had been the 1B to Kawhi Leonard's 1A over the last five seasons, and was considered a crucial component of the team's championship approach in this era.

But when it came right down to it, Clippers management and George simply had different goals. After much deliberation, an agreement could not be reached, and the two parties mutually agreed to part ways, even if it meant the Clippers let him leave and got nothing in return.

We heard for some time that George was planning to opt in to the final year of his contract in an effort to get a sign-and-trade agreement done, wherein the Clippers would be able to recoup assets after his departure. But in the end, it seemed LA was okay with him leaving to the point that they did not even care about the lack of value they would be getting back.

That alone is very telling, and Paul himself explained more on his most recent podcast. According to him, he never wanted to leave Los Angeles, but things reached a point where he felt it best to move on.

On the podcast, George explains how, initially, he was offered a two-year, $60 million contract from the Clippers during this past season. That number is admittedly far below his market value, and PG says he quickly turned that offer down. He explained how as they negotiated over the next several months, that number went up. As he saw the extension the team gave Kawhi (which was valued at three years, $153 million), he began asking for the same.

George supposedly moved the goal posts on contract wishes

"I hear wind of what they're going to give Kawhi so I'm like, just give me what Kawhi got," George said. "Y'all view us the same. We came here together, we want to finish this s--- together. I'll take what Kawhi got, I was cool with that and we were still taking less. Kawhi took less ... It’s not about me being paid more than him. I'm going to take what he got."

But according to George, negotiations would continue until the offseason before the Clippers offered that same kind of money he was speaking of. But eventually, he did get the offer in the range of three years, $150 million that he was looking for. However, by that time, George decided the money wasn't everything. He wanted to add a no-trade clause to his contract as well, which the Clippers did not agree to.

"They didn't want to do no trade," said George. "They didn't want to do that so then I'm like, all right, well then it only makes sense for me to do four years, $212 million. At least pay me my money. If y'all going to trade me, y'all going to trade me, but at least now I'm not in a situation where I could have got more, had I just gone a free agency, then just take this deal where y’all could ship me."

Based on the story in his own words, it seems George moved the goal posts a bit with regard to his contract wishes. He initially said he wanted the same pay day as Kawhi, but wanted to add a stipulation once he was finally granted his request. Clippers fans can be mad at this, but at the end of the day, it is simply how business dealings typically go.

PG reiterated that he still has good feeling about Clippers management despite his decision to move on. "Steve [Ballmer] is a good dude," said George. "I love Steve as an owner, one of the best owners that I played for, but it's a business, and I won't take nobody's word if they can't put it in writing, right?”