NBA Rumors: The Clippers may swap out one star for another this summer

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

Teams already appear to be lining up to sign LA Clippers star Paul George away this summer but the Clippers may have a backup plan. The Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, and even the Oklahoma City Thunder could have an interest in George and sign him using cap space, which would leave the Clippers high and dry.

However, according to ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst, if George agrees to join another team, he'd ask them for a sign and trade to help out L.A, which would ensure that he gets paid while the Clippers would get draft picks and/or players in return for him. That would obviously be better than nothing for the Clippers and they could look to engage another team in a sign and trade for a star to replace Paul George this summer if he were to leave.

Will Paul George leave the LA Clippers and can they replace him?

With the Clippers and George failing to agree on a deal thus far, it seems more likely than not that a team such as the Sixers would be able to lure him away with the promise of a max contract. If that happens, the Clippers would reportedly look to add Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan via sign and trade.

Although DeRozan is older than George, he makes sense as a potential trade target considering that he is still a terrific player, and the Clippers will probably be able to convince him to take a shorter deal. That would allow them to maintain future flexibility, unlike with George, who apparently wants a four-year max contract.

Of course, aside from convincing DeRozan to join them, the Clippers would have to convince the Bulls to agree to a sign and trade. That might be harder to do since the Clippers don't have a lot of draft picks remaining following the deal that landed them Paul George and the James Harden trade. Nevertheless, they can't afford not to replace George, especially with a seemingly closing title window.