Clippers want Paul George, but 'respect' if he leaves  

As All-Star guard Paul George approaches Saturday's deadline to activate his $48.8 million player option, the LA Clippers "very much" want to keep him.  

President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank says the Clippers had been talking to George and his agent, Aaron Mintz.  

George can sign a four-year, $221 million extension with the Clippers, but they have been unable to agree for months.  

George can opt into his contract or become a free agent if no extension is finalized by Saturday. George may try to trade with the Clippers if he opts into his last year.  

The Clippers, who inked Kawhi Leonard to a three-year, $150-million agreement in January, hope George will stay home with his family. He grew up in Palmdale.  

"We love Paul," Frank remarked after the Clippers picked Minnesota guard Cam Christie 46th in the second round. "We want Paul, but we accept that this is a business.

Hope Paul choose to be here. Awesome guy. His All-Star status. One of the league's greatest two-way players. His character is great. We hope he's here because he has a fantastic family, but we accept his decision to opt out. We'll see how things go—he deserved it."  

Frank said the organization has had fruitful meetings with free agent James Harden and his agents, Mike Silverman and Troy Payne.  

“We think James has been terrific for us,” Frank remarked. "We hope he's enjoyed his time here and decides to stay. We hope James stays a Clipper."  

Frank recognized that the Clippers must make tough decisions to keep its stars on the same path due to the new collective bargaining agreement's restrictions on tax-paying teams.  

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