30-year-old Paul George is on his third team in four years, none of which have come with an NBA Finals appearance.
A 6x All-Star, George is held to a standard he often fails to live up to. In Indiana and OKC, he struggled to stay consistent as a shot-maker in the playoffs and the same has proved true for his first season as a Clipper.
Is it time to re-evaluate George’s rank among the NBA’s best? Can a team win with him as their best or even second-best player?
Amid major questions about his game and his fit with the Clippers in general, whispers have begun to surface about a potential trade, with one of the most recent rumors pointing to a swap with the Bucks for 6-7 swingman Khris Middleton.
“Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks and Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers are both at an inflection point this offseason,” writes TJ Porreca of NBA Analysis Network. “Both teams are coming off of disappointing defeats in the playoffs, and each team faces questions this offseason.
“For the Clippers, will the duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George be able to succeed next season, or is Paul expendable?
For the Bucks, is their core of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton enough to entice Antetokounmpo to stay? Or does Milwaukee need to make a big move to show Giannis they’re serious about winning?
Due to the unique circumstances of both teams, these two might be able to come together on a blockbuster trade.”
After a disappointing finish in the 2020 playoffs, the Bucks are going to looking for any opportunity they can to improve their roster this offseason. They know more than anyone that winning a Championship next year (or at least getting close) is imperative if they want to make their best case in convincing Giannis to stay.
A trade for a guy like Paul George (5x All-NBA player, 6x NBA All-Star), even with his flaws, would make a strong statement to their star that they’re serious about putting together a title-contending roster.
In Clipperland, Middleton’s low-profile personality might be better for a locker room that is already stacked with loud voices. On the court, he just came off his best season as a pro, averaging 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game on 49% shooting.