Los Angeles Clippers star wing Paul George has decided to decline his player option for $48,787,676, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. He can re-sign with the Clippers or commit to a new team with the requisite cap space when free agency begins at 6 p.m., Eastern time, on Sunday.

The Sixers, Orlando Magic, and San Antonio Spurs loom as teams that could lure George away from Los Angeles.

Philadelphia is expected to aggressively pursue George in free agency and is a real threat to sign him away from the Clippers, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT.

The Clippers and George arrived at this inflection point because Los Angeles has been unwilling to offer him more than what they gave star wing Kawhi Leonard on his most recent extension - $149,650,000 over three years.

According to Law Murray of The Athletic, there is pessimism that the 34-year-old even wants to return to the Clippers at this point. There is a real chance that George will leave the franchise.

The Sixers stood pat during this week's NBA Draft, using their picks to select guard Jared McCain and big man Adem Bona. Not trading the picks for ready-made contributors served as a sign that Philadelphia was at least confident enough in its chances of landing George that adding sizable salary to the cap sheet before the nine-time All-Star made a decision was a move against financial flexibility that the Sixers were not willing to make.

Now, the Sixers can offer George a four-year maximum deal of $212,205,000 when Sunday's sweepstakes begin. That would be $49,350,000 in 2024-25; $51,817,500 in 2025-26; $54,285,000 in 2026-27; and $56,752,500 in 2027-28.

It's a hefty price for a player of George's age, injury history, and checkered playoff resume. But, stars get maximum contracts, and he's going to be the best on the market.

Should they secure George's services, Philadelphia will still have some cap space and the $8,006,000 room mid-level exception remaining with plenty of roster spots left to fill.

Saturday marked an important date for things to get very interesting for the Sixers. The dominos have fallen in their favor thus far.

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