Knicks should be happy to let Sixers win predicted offseason free agency battle

Let Philadelphia make this mistake!
Philadelphia Sixers, Daryl Morey
Philadelphia Sixers, Daryl Morey / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The New York Knicks and Sixers just wrapped up a heated first-round playoff series, but there's already talk about another battle the teams could engage in this summer.

After a first-round exit, the Sixers are expected to pursue another star over the summer to pair with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. The Knicks could be in the same position as the front office still possesses its treasure chest of draft assets. New York has patiently waited for the right star to cash in on.

One player the Knicks could be in the running for is Paul George, who has a $48.8 player option for 2024-25. The 34-year-old and the Clippers haven't agreed to a contract extension, although that could happen this summer. George is an LA native and has said his "goal" is to stay with the team, but anything could happen.

He's been linked to teams like New York and Philadelphia. On Friday morning, ESPN and MSG Network's Alan Hahn said he thinks the two teams will be in another competition, but this time, for George.

Hahn predicts Knicks-Sixers will compete for Paul George this summer

The Knicks were reportedly interested in trading for PG13 last summer but were turned off because of his looming extension. New York deemed the trade "too expensive." If the front office signed George in free agency (or even traded for him), they'd have to be willing to sign him to an extension.

Meanwhile, the Sixers are in desperation mode. Embiid is 30 and hasn't led his team to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. Philadelphia is expected to sign Maxey to a supermax this summer but will still have cap space to make other moves. If George and the Clippers don't agree to an extension, the Knicks should be happy to step back and let the Sixers pursue him.

George played in 74 regular-season games, but that was the most he's played since 2018-19 (77) when he was with Oklahoma City. He just turned 34 on May 2, and his injury history is a major red flag. It's not as if George is a notorious playoff performer, either.

Things would be different if the Knicks were in their current position in 2019 when George was traded to LA. New York would likely jump at the opportunity to add a top defender in the NBA to Tom Thibodeau's squad. That time has passed.

If the Sixers wish to add another injury-riddled star to their roster on a max contract, let them. It surely won't come back to haunt them!