Paul George could still pursue alternative option this offseason

There is one additional option George will have as he makes his free agency decision in the coming days.
Paul George, LA Clippers
Paul George, LA Clippers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

It is no secret that Paul George essentially controls what will happen to the LA Clippers this summer. Either he opts in to his player contract for next season and allows the front office to retool and run the current roster back, or he opts out and the team will have to figure out how to replace his services and get back to the level of a contender in short order.

There has already been plenty of speculation about which direction George will take. Since basically the start of the offseason, there were rumors swirling that the Philadelphia 76ers would love to add PG and give Joel Embiid a running mate to get them over the top in the Eastern Conference.

But recently, it seems that the Sixers may have become less interested in going hard after PG. That is not to say something could not still be worked out down the line, but their priorities appear to be elsewhere at the moment. However, there is still a third path George has on the table that he can choose to take this summer: opting in to his player option while still seeking a trade.

Paul George could still opt in before seeking a trade

This is an option top NBA Insider Shams Charania recently mentioned on The Pat McAfee Show. He brought up the fact that George can go to Clippers management and inform them of his plans to leave, but insist that he prefers an opt-in and trade scenario.

What this would do is potentially give him more options going forward. If he were to decline his option, PG would be seeking an entirely new deal from a new team in free agency. By opting in to the option, he could join a new team this summer via trade while not being locked in long-term, at least not yet.

When Paul ended up with the Oklahoma City Thunder in summer of 2017, many thought he would be a one-year rental since he was headed into a contract year. Instead, he re-signed and remained in OKC for the following season as well. This would be a similar scenario where he could essentially test the waters with whatever new team he finds himself with before ultimately making a more concrete long-term decision later.

George has until June 29 to exercise his player option or not. It is safe to say that one week from now, we will know a lot more about the direction of the Clippers moving forward.