Do the Knicks have good reason to pass on chasing after former MVP candidate this summer?

Apr 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) warms up prior to the NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Stars, stars, stars. That’s been the cloud that’s covered the New York Knicks for well over a year running.

It was first a dark cloud — hanging over the head of a franchise that took long to replace Carmelo Anthony and then surround Julius Randle with other players at or above his level. Then, it became a cloud of covering — something for the Knicks and their fanbase to look forward to in free agency and the trade market.

With a promising summer ahead of them, the Knicks will have All-Star options to pursue. However, one player who would seem like a dream come true to have, could come with more storm and tempest than shade.

Knicks: Paul George may not be the best free agent option for the franchise this summer

Apr 9, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  (New York Knicks) LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first quarter at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Katz of The Athletic rained on Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George’s proverbial parade, citing his age and injury history as detracting factors for the Knicks to weigh the most when determining whether he’d be worth acquiring (h/t Joey Linn of Fan Nation’s All Knicks):

“The Knicks have kicked George’s name around before, according to league sources, but they never seriously pursued him in a deal,” Katz wrote. “Even if the basketball fit is perfection, he’s 34, five years older than anyone in their current rotation, and has a history of injuries — though he played 74 games this past season for the first time in five years.”

Should George forego his $48.78 million player option for 2024-25, New York will have to give up a couple of their top rotation players along with a likely assortment of first-round draft picks to obtain his services. If he doesn’t, he’ll still be an expensive fringe superstar to invest in. The Fresno State product has shown an ability to lead teams deep into the playoffs as a No. 1 option, but in the last two years, his Clippers have underwhelmed, even with injuries to Kawhi Leonard.

George has proven that he’s still a dominant player in the NBA at 34-years-old

Los Angeles Clipper forward Paul George (13) dribbles the ball against New York Knicks shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden

George made the All-Star team in 2024 behind averages of 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals on 47.1 percent shooting from the field and 41.3 percent shooting from the three-point line. His 6-foot-8 frame would allow him to slide from the shooting guard to power forward slots naturally. While his 16.7 shot attempts not only proved that he can be highly effective without demanding a high usage rate, it also showed that he’d be an ego-less co-star next to All-Star Jalen Brunson, who could also take the reigns at the drop of a dime.

The California native may not have many more seasons as a surefire No. 1 option. Thus, the Knicks will have to closely monitor his situation and see if he could be had for a price that won’t cost them too much in the short and long-term. George is a top-shelf talent, but this summer there will be others that may be better suited for the Knicks based off of their current situation.

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