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Philadelphia 76ers would reportedly ‘leap’ at opportunity to acquire aging NBA All-Star

Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Sixers, Paul George
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When the Philadelphia 76ers finally gave into James Harden’s trade request, it left a large void, not necessarily in talent. Tyrese Maxey has stepped into the spotlight as a first-time All-Star, and now the Harden trade sets the Sixers up to have enough cap space to pursue a star talent with a max-level contract in free agency.

One of the best players with a chance to hit free agency is nine-time All-Star Paul George. The soon-to-be 34-year-old swingman has a $48.7 million player option for the 2024-25 season. But the chance to earn even more via a long-term contract, plus the opportunity to pick his next team, could entice George to exercise his right to test free agency.

Paul George linked to Philadelphia 76ers in NBA free agency

If so, expect the 76ers to aggressively pursue signing PG-13 to a contract. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, George will be one of Philadelphia’s top targets once free agency gets underway this summer.

“Going forward, they’re (Philadelphia 76ers) armed with max-level cap space. The Sixers would leap at the chance to use it on Paul George, sources said. George has yet to sign an extension with the LA Clippers and could become an unrestricted free agent in July if he forgoes that extension.”

ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Philadelphia 76ers’ interest in Paul George

Related: Paul George sounds fed up with James Harden’s slump, calls on Los Angeles Clippers coaches

When the James Harden trade rumors first surfaced, reports suggested the 76ers wouldn’t have interest in making a move unless they received an All-Star level talent in return. While they didn’t get that type of return, Maxey being given a longer leash led to another star shining next to Joel Embiid.

Yet, the cap relief the 76ers got in return for trading Harden could still lead to an All-NBA talent joining Philadelphia’s star tandem next season. If Harden’s departure paved the way for George’s arrival, then the 76ers will have pulled off a heist, even if it took longer than Daryl Morey would have liked.

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