Paul George

Report: Sixers' interest in pursuing George has ‘significantly waned' 

The Sixers have been widely linked to George in the early stages of the offseason.

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As NBA offseason action and rumors escalate, the Sixers’ “interest in pursuing Paul George has significantly waned in recent days,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.

The Sixers are “expected to be aggressive elsewhere with (their) salary cap flexibility and draft capital leading into next week’s NBA Draft,” Charania tweeted Thursday night.

NBA teams were officially allowed to begin negotiating with their own free agents the day after the Celtics’ championship-clinching win. The draft is set for next Wednesday and next Thursday, and negotiations with all free agents will open June 30 at 6 p.m. ET.

The Sixers have been widely linked to George since shortly following their first-round playoff loss to the Knicks. Joel Embiid is the team's one player currently under a guaranteed contract for the 2024-25 season. The Sixers are the rare playoff-caliber team capable of landing another big-money, top-end talent and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has historically not been shy about going after stars. 

For now, they’ve got an All-Star guard in Tyrese Maxey and a world-class center in Embiid. 

“I would say the biggest need is not at their position — someone at the wing who can play and deliver at a high level in the playoffs,” Morey said at his end-of-season press conference.

George made his ninth All-Star Game last season and averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals. The 34-year-old has until June 29 to exercise his $48.8 million player option for next season. He and the Clippers have not been on the same page yet about a potential contract extension.

Brandon Ingram and OG Anunoby are two other extension-eligible players in the ever-swirling rumor mill. The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported Thursday that the Pelicans “contacted the Philadelphia 76ers concerning a possible Ingram trade.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Tuesday that “most people believe Anunoby will stay with New York, but there have been indications that he may want to test the market because he’s not thrilled with what the Knicks” have offered. 

In terms of role players, Nicolas Batum, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kyle Lowry are among the Sixers’ notable internal free agents. We’ll have a sharper sense of the external market after the draft and post-option deadlines.

As things stand, the Sixers hold the 16th and 41st picks in the draft and it remains to be seen how exactly Morey will handle this intriguing offseason. 

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