Paul George’s Career: Leg Injury, Missed Lakers Opportunity and More

From a gruesome leg injury to redeeming his potential, Paul George is once again set for yet another championship run, this time in the Eastern Conference as a 76er.

Published on Jul 03, 2024  |  03:19 AM IST |  62.8K
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

With reports of a four-year 212 million deal all but confirmed with the 76ers, Paul Goerge is determined for yet another title run at 38. As per veteran ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers wanted to sign PG for a lucrative three-year deal. However, George had other ideas and wanted a fourth year in his contract, something the Clippers were not comfortable doing. 


Playoff P’s career has seemingly come full circle. Beginning his career with the Pacers, George is set to return to the East as a 76er with renewed hopes of championship aspirations. Let us take a trip down memory lane and take a look at PG’s career timeline leading up to his arrival in Philadelphia.  

A Great Career start, followed by devastating Injury 

George stepped into the world of NBA as a top-ten prospect out of Fresno State. His scoring and defensive acumen made him a star in the Western Athletic Conference and heavily raised his popularity among draft scouts. To this day, George remains the highest draft pick in Fresno State Men’s Basketball history.

Despite a slow start, George climbed the ranks and became a trusted starter in his second season. Just four years into his NBA career, PG became the 2013 Most Improved Player, earned All-Defensive second team and first team honors, 2x All-NBA third team honors, and back-to-back All-Star selections.   

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Just when it seemed like things couldn’t be getting any better for George, he suffered his worst career injury during the 2014 Offseason. Upon returning from a potentially career-altering injury, PG showed no signs of having slowed down. 

Playing 81 games in his comeback season, George averaged 23 points, seven boards, four assists, and two steals a game on 41.8% shooting from the field. 

With the Pacers being a shell of their previous self, George had little confidence of continuing in Indiana and thus, requested a trade to the Lakers.    

Almost a Laker

Wanting to fulfill his wish, the Palmdale native was eager to be a Laker in 2018 as he had plans to opt out of his contract. Even the Lakers at one point were adamant on bringing PG to LA. Team president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka were in touch with George while he was under contract with the Pacers.

 


But as such practice was forbidden as per NBA’s rules against tampering, the Lakers were fined $500,000. Indiana ended up trading George to the OKC; a franchise he had no intention to be a part of, but eventually adapted to. 

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PG played two seasons with the Thunder and added more accolades to his name, most notably in his second season. But unbeknownst to some, PG still had intentions to go down to LA, but not the Lakers.

ALSO READ: Warriors Came Close to Paul George Trade with Clippers before Contract Opt-out.        

Joining the Clippers alongside Kawhi Leonard 

In July 2019, one of the biggest moments in the Clippers' free agency history took place when Lob City managed to rope in Kawhi Leonard and George. Within just minutes, the Clippers went from being an average team in the West to one of the best teams in all of basketball.

 


Both Leonard and Goerge were coming off after impressive seasons with ‘the claw’ winning his second NBA title and PG earning All-NBA and All-Defensive first-team selections. For five seasons, the duo racked up numbers and accolades but also struggled to get Lob City into the finals. 

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Another serious issue was their injuries, particularly for PG as he managed to play just 189 games in his first four seasons in LA. 

Heading to Philadelphia, the nine-time All-Star might slightly be out of his comfort zone. But joining a stacked Philly squad could be his best chance at being part of a championship team.


ALSO READ: NBA Fans Troll Paul George After His Video Committing He Owes Clippers a Trophy Resurfaces.

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