After five years, the Paul George-Kawhi Leonard era is over for the Clippers. The Clippers put out a statement announcing his departure. George is going to go to the Philadelphia Sixers, likely on a 4-year max deal.

In the end, the negotiations never really seemed to get off the ground. By all accounts, Paul George held firm on his demand for a four year deal at the max (or very close to it), and the Clippers held firm on only offering 3 years at below the max. As mentioned in the press statement above, the gap was large, could not be closed, and ultimately resulted in the dissolution of the PG-Clippers partnership.

We will obviously have a lot more about Paul George in the coming days as we come to grips with the end of this era of the Clippers. For right now, the Clippers will have access to the non-taxpayer midlevel exception starting at $12.9M and the biannual exception starting at $4.7M, as PG walking gets them under the first tax apron.

Lucas has already detailed what the Clippers can do going forward in this article, but we know some changes are coming. Harden is back, Russell Westbrook is almost certainly gone, and Kevin Porter Jr. (more on him in a separate article) is in. The Clippers will need to find a starting power forward and a backup center, among other things, though it seems like a full-fledged roster shakeup is on the way.

I do want to note here that while you can feel salty about Paul George not bending to meet the Clippers, he did what was best for him, and you can’t blame him for that. He is almost certainly getting a 4 year, $212M deal from Philadelphia, well beyond the Clippers’ 3 year, $150M offer. Additionally, Philly is probably a cleaner basketball fit, with two high-usage player in Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid who can soak up possessions and take ballhandling and defensive responsibilities from him respectively.

I will have much, much more to say about the 213 era here on the site and on the podcast in the coming weeks. For now, stay tuned, as the Clippers still have many, many more moves to make, likely starting with a Russ trade.

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