The Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era of the Los Angeles Clippers hasn't borne much fruit yet. In four years, they made the Western Conference Finals just once, flaming out year after year due to injury (and in 2020, an untimely choke job). With Leonard and George only getting older and not getting any healthier, it's fair to wonder if the Clippers have any plans to pivot from this superstar duo in hopes of, perhaps, recouping more assets in preparation for the future.
While the Clippers don't necessarily feel any sense of urgency to trade away either Leonard or George, the idea of trading at least one of them isn't as far-fetched as one might think. According to Marc Stein, the Clippers “have left various rival teams with the impression” that they are, at the very least, open to the idea of gauging what George could bring back in a potential trade leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft.
In fact, these rival teams, according to Stein, left those preliminary conversations feeling as if the Clippers have given “real consideration” to the idea of breaking up the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George pairing.
George remains a top-15 caliber player when healthy. However, over the past two seasons, the 33-year old forward has had to deal with a myriad of injury problems. In 2022, George missed a huge chunk of the Clippers' season due to an elbow injury, while in 2023, he missed their short-lived playoff run due to a sprained knee.
And with Paul George having only one guaranteed year left in his contract (he has a $48.8 million player option for next season), it's not too hard to see why the Clippers are gauging the trade market for him. After all, teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly have interest in a player of his caliber, and the Blazers own the third overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, so perhaps the two parties can agree on suitable deal built on that pick.
Still, given how much the Clippers organization has invested in George, it's hard to see this offseason marking the end of PG13's stint in LA.