The Los Angeles Clippers are currently locked in the middle of a heated battle against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs. There is a lot at stake for both teams; for the Clippers, making a deep playoff run is crucial, especially when there is much uncertainty surrounding the futures of Paul George and James Harden with the team, as they are set to enter free agency in July.

George has not made his willingness to sign a contract extension with the Clippers a secret. However, the two sides are yet to agree on a deal, and George, as a result, will be attracting a few suitors in free agency, the most prominent of which appears to be the Philadelphia 76ers. Alas, the 76ers, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, will have competition for George's services other than the Clippers.

In an appearance on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, Shelburne highlighted the Orlando Magic, fighting tooth and nail against the Cleveland Cavaliers for a spot in the second round of the playoffs, as a team that is putting out feelers on Paul George.

“There's two teams that are paying very close attention to Paul George: the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers, because both of them have the money to throw at him and have a need for a wing just like him, a veteran guy,” Shelburne said.

Paul George's skillset makes him a fit in every NBA team. But the Magic, in particular, are in dire need of what he brings to the table. George is heads and shoulders a better player than Gary Harris, as George can function as a primary shot-creator and a three-point sniper who thrives when coming off screens. Moreover, the Clippers star fits the Magic's MO as a defense-first team.

It would take a lot to pry George away from the Clippers. But as far as free-agent options go, the Magic won't have any better options than to try and convince the 33-year old forward to uproot his family and join the Eastern Conference's next big thing.

Paul George would come in handy on the Magic right now

The Magic are coming off a heartbreaking 104-103 loss in Game 5 of their first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers; they are now behind the series, 3-2, but it's a testament to how far this Magic team has come that they're making a more experienced Cavs team sweat bullets.

Their weakness reared its ugly head yet again on Tuesday night; they shot rather poorly from deep, making just 9 of their 31 attempts from long range, as the team simply does not have the marksmanship that is necessary to contend in today's NBA.

Paul George is a career 38.5 percent shooter from deep, and he gives the Magic offense such a higher floor thanks to his incredible ability to make difficult shots. George is also capable of playing his best basketball still, more so than the Magic's other reported high-profile target in free agency (Klay Thompson).

George would be a godsend for the Magic right now, as they're crying out for a dangerous three-level scorer to complement Paolo Banchero. Franz Wagner, for all his talents, has struggled from deep this season. He only shot 28.1 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season, and he has made just eight of his 24 attempts from three through the first five games of the Cavs series.

Alas, it would take a miracle for the Magic to pry Paul George away from the Clippers. For starters, the Magic won't have his Bird rights, so George wouldn't be able to sign a five-year deal. The Clippers can also offer the most average annual money. George is also settled in his home state of California, and with the Clippers set to enter their Intuit Dome era, they cannot afford to have a barebones roster around the oft-injured Kawhi Leonard as they look to fill seats.

Can PG13 follow up on his epic Game 4 performance for the Clippers?

The Clippers were in dire need of a heroic performance from both Paul George and James Harden in Game 4, and that's exactly what they got. With Kawhi Leonard out due to a knee injury, George came out firing in Game 4, scoring 26 points in the first half. And even as the Mavericks fought back from a 31-point deficit, with George only scoring two points in the third quarter, PG13 came up huge when his team needed him the most.

With the Mavericks having taken the lead at 105-104, George took on Derrick Jones Jr. in isolation and made one of the most difficult shots in NBA playoff history, a stepback three-pointer that was heavily contested by the Mavericks wing, to give the Clippers back a two-point lead that they wouldn't relinquish.

The job is not over for the Clippers, however. Kawhi Leonard is out for Game 5 as well, and it's not quite clear if he'll be back for their playoff run. Paul George must continue to play his A-game, and his recent Game 5 history bodes well for his chances of putting up an encore to his Game 4 masterclass.