Perkins suggests Paul George could have hidden reason for wanting to leave Clippers

The prominent analyst gave his insight into what he thinks may be the true reason Paul George could be leaving Los Angeles.
Paul George, James Harden, LA Clippers
Paul George, James Harden, LA Clippers / Harry How/GettyImages

Things are coming down to the wire for Paul George and the LA Clippers. The star wing has until Saturday, June 29 to pick up his player option for next season. If he does not, George will automatically become an unrestricted free agent, and can seek out the massive contract he reportedly desires.

But the most common understanding of the situation to this point has been that PG will seek to pursue an "opt-in-and-trade" route, wherein he will accept his player option before working with the Clippers on completing a trade. So far, multiple teams around the league have shown heavy interest in George, and it seems like a formality that he will be on his way out of town in short order.

One prominent personality who recently gave his opinion on the matter is former NBA player and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins. Referencing Paul George's recent podcast episode where PG is asked about free agency and says, "I just want to play the right way," Perkins raised an eyebrow.

Perkins suggested Paul George does not want to play with Harden

"What does that mean?" asked Perkins. "Because we've never heard Paul George complain about playing the right way until a certain individual actually got on his team in James Harden. I strongly believe there is more to it than just the money when it comes down to Paul George making the decision of whether or not he still wants to play with the Los Angeles Clippers."

This is a massive statement from Perkins, even if it is purely speculative. There never appeared to be a real sense of frustration this season from George when it came to playing alongside Harden. The two worked well on the floor next to each other, and we know James is no longer a high-usage player that takes away a lot of shots from his teammates. So all things considered, this feels like a bit of a reach from Perkins.

Even so, we may never know George's true intentions. If he truly did have an issue with being Harden's teammate, it feels unlikely he would express it publicly any time soon. But at the end of the day, Perkins' statement does serve to add fuel to the now-blazing inferno that is the Paul George trade rumors.