— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 10, 2020
With the move, the team locks up the 30-year-old George, who they made a trade for last season.
Since entering the league, George has been one of the NBA’s better wings.
He has made the All-Star game in six of the last eight season, averaging above 20 points per game each year.
Over this time, he has proven himself as a legitimate two-way wing in the league.
On offense, his size and athleticism make him a tough matchup for any defender.
He is also able to pull up and bury jumpers from beyond the arc.
Defensively, George is adept at playing tight defense and stealing the ball.
All of these skills culminated into a breakout 2018-19 season, where he finished third in the MVP voting.
Now, he is seen by many as one of the best players in the NBA.
However, there are still many fans and analysts of the sport that view George as overrated.
In this article, we’ll take a look at his track record and see if there’s any merit to these claims.
George On The Pacers
When Paul George was with the Indiana Pacers, he was always seen as one of the league’s brighter up-and-coming young talents.
He was part of competitive Pacers teams that many assumed may take down LeBron James’ domination of the Eastern Conference.
With the team, George began to emerge after earning his first All-Star appearance in the 2012-12 season.
After averaging 17.4 PPG that season, he slowly upped his scoring each year.
Finally, in his last two seasons with the Pacers, he averaged over 23 PPG.
He paired this scoring output with over six rebounds per game and over three assists, making him a well-rounded threat on the floor.
In his time with the team, he helped lead them to six playoff appearances.
2017 1st round game 1.
2 seed cavs 7 seed pacers
Paul George 29 points 7 assist 9-19 & 6-8 from 3
28ppg 7apg 43% from 3 for the series pic.twitter.com/RaUkjDp78o
— Clippers24Seven (@Clippers24seven) December 5, 2020
However, they could never get over the hump, losing to the Miami Heat three years in a row.
After the team was swept by the Cavaliers in 2016-17, the organization decided to part ways with George.
This led to his trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
George’s Time With OKC
His tenure with the Thunder was short but sweet.
It was here that he really established himself as one of the league’s best players.
Paul George for the win 🔥🔥🔥
He led OKC's comeback with 25 points in the 4th quarter! pic.twitter.com/HRlfpw3ezK
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 6, 2018
While he took a small step back during the 2017-18 season, he made a statement the next year.
In 2018-19, George boosted his scoring output to 28 PPG.
His rebounding went up to a career-high of 8.2 RPG, with 4.1 APG as well.
On top of all that, George led the league in steals per game with 2.2, another career-high.
With these numbers, he finished third in the MVP voting.
However, his time in OKC was punctuated by two first-round exits in the playoffs.
That offseason, George expressed that he wanted a trade from the Thunder, and the team shipped him to Los Angeles that offseason.
A Trip To L.A.
George joined the Clippers as they signed Kawhi Leonard, creating one of the best wing duos in the NBA.
This last season, he had another down year, averaging just 21.5 PPG.
However, this was with decreased minutes as well.
With how different this season was, it is hard to look into these stats too deeply.
He also showed that he tends to take a bit of a step back in his first season with a new team, but ultimately bounces back the next year.
What was more concerning was George’s performances in the playoffs, as the Clippers underperformed.
He had a bad playoff run, leading to people calling him “Pandemic P.”
While he still averaged just over 20 PPG, he did so on under 40% shooting from the field.
Many of his worst misses were widespread on social media, turning him into a joke.
However, with his four-year contract extension, George will have more time to bring a championship to the Clippers.
Paul George is ready to kill the doubt! pic.twitter.com/scXhVALHRv
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) December 11, 2020
The Verdict: Is Paul George Overrated?
When looking at the timeline of his career, it is clear that George has steadily improved and become one of the league’s higher-tier players.
Just how high he should go is the question.
Is this a justified spot?
Based on his regular-season production, this is a good spot for him: it is not too high or low.
He is a premier player in this sport and has the stats to back that up, especially his 2018-19 MVP-level play.
Because of this, he isn’t necessarily “overrated.”
However, he needs to prove himself as a leader in the playoffs.
A reminder Paul George hasn’t reached the conference finals since leaving Pacers… because you can’t win in Indiana, or something like that.
— Matt Glenesk (@MattGlenesk) September 16, 2020
Now, with the Clippers, he is paired up with another of the NBA’s brightest stars.
This is the time that he must prove himself if he wishes to take the next step: in these past playoffs he failed.
Until he breaks through, he won’t be considered as part of the upper tier of NBA players.