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Ranking The Best Paul George Trade Packages For The Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers and Paul George have a dilemma to work out. Either George opts into his contract for $48.8 million, becomes a free agent, or he could even opt-in and potentially demand a trade. With the way things are going right now for George and his goals, George feels more comfortable playing for individual success than staying in his hometown of Los Angeles and potentially chasing a championship.

The Clippers and Clippers Nation owe George a series of gratitude for the success he has helped bring to an organization and get to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2021. 

The time, however, has come for the 213 Era of the Clippers to go away. There were high marks but many more low marks as injuries and, at times, carelessness which caused the Clippers to fall short of their goals. The Clippers have a chance to trade George for a great package that can help them stay in contention for a championship this season, provided that Kawhi Leonard is healthy in the postseason for the first time since 2021.

There have been many trade packages that can help the Clippers succeed, while also assisting George in accomplishing his personal goals. Here are some of the best options for the Clippers in the potential trade with Paul George. 

Two Young Core Players From The Atlanta Hawks 

Several packages include just two teams, but one of the best from the Clippers' perspective is a three-team trade with the Atlanta Hawks and the New Orleans Pelicans. In this trade, the Clippers will only have to give up all George to Atlanta while the Clippers receive power forward DeAndre Hunter and small forward DeJounte Murray. Off the top, this move completes many different objectives for the Clippers they were chasing this offseason. 

The first is that the Clippers are younger with both Hunter and Murray. Leonard will play young forever, especially with his consistent injury concerns this late into his career. James Harden, likely to resign with the Clippers if George leaves, will be 35 years old this upcoming season. The Clippers have been getting older as the seasons have progressed and not getting any younger. This was due to the lack of numerous draft picks used in the Paul George, as well as the Kawhi Leonard trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Another is that they have acquired older veterans such as P.J. Tucker from the Harden trade and Russell Westbrook, who is approaching 36. Murray, Hunter, center Iciva Zubac, and shooting guard Terrance Mann can lead a new regime of Clipper players moving forward in their new stadium. 

Another key aspect of this trade is that Leonard's role will be diminished slightly in the regular season. This will help him stay healthier for the postseason run. Ultimately, this keeps him from over-stretching his boundaries and not playing at the four.

The starting lineup will likely go Harden at point guard, Murray at shooting guard, Leonard as small forward, Hunter at power forward, and Zubac at the center. This leaves a great bench support with Mann and Norman Powell providing defensive and offensive, respectively. Murray and Hunter are both entering the prime of their careers and can be stars of the Los Angeles basketball world. 

Role Players And Draft Picks From The Sacramento Kings

The next best trade option for the Clippers involves trading him to a division rival. George would be traded from the Clippers to the Sacramento Kings. In return, Los Angeles will receive forward Harrison Barnes, guard Kevin Huerters, and numerous draft picks. Much like the trade with the Hawks, the Clippers would get younger with Barnes and Huerter. Both of these players are not the high-level players that Murray and Hunter are, but they can fit the schemes that the Clippers need them to be. 

With Huerters, the Clippers would insert him likely as a player like J.J. Redick was for the Clippers, during the Lob City era. Huerter can be an athletic shooter, despite possessing his struggles last season. Barnes adds strength and efficiency at the power forward that the Clippers have missed for the past two seasons. Barnes has been one of the most dynamic power forwards in the league for several years. He can shoot efficiently, drive to the basket, rebound, and defend well.

What makes this package one of the better trade options for the Clippers is the inclusion of multiple picks. The Clippers only own a second-round pick for the 2024 NBA Draft and a first and second pick for the 2030 draft. The idea of the Clippers owning picks again would be beneficial to a team that might not have a future if things get worse with the team's misfortunes.

The Kings own a first-round pick in the 2024 draft and a second-round pick. The Kings also own two second-round picks in the 2025 draft, thanks to a previous trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. A package involving these picks might be a solid start for the Clippers' interest. 

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