It’s been hinted at for days, but today the news officially broke that Clippers’ star Paul George is likely out for the entire series against the Suns. Both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and TNT and Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported the news nearly simultaneously, confirming what the beat reporters have been indicating.
At this point, it seems like the absolute best scenario for Paul George is that he returns in Game 5 against the Suns – after the only two-day break in the series. Most likely is he doesn’t play at all, or tries to rush back for the final game or two.
Paul George has $45.6M guaranteed for next season and a $48.8M player option for the following season. The Clippers and George himself are absolutely not going to play him if he isn’t ready, not with such a huge investment in salary and overall resources. Furthermore, if the series looks hopeless, like the Clippers trailing 3-1 with the games mostly being non-competitive, it makes the slim chance of a PG return even slimmer.
The Clippers have presumably been preparing for no Paul George, and we at 213 have as well, so all of our game coverage and discussions should still be relevant. Still, this is a huge bummer. The Clippers *can* beat the Suns without any Paul George, but it will be very, very difficult without Suns injuries (and we never root for that, ever). Hopefully the Clippers can hold off for long enough for PG to return, but today’s news means that might mean the entire first round.