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Report: Clippers star Paul George could miss rest of season

Clippers star Paul George

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 22: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 22, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers’ status as an esteemed 2022 championship sleeper: Jan. 6, 2022 – Jan. 12, 2022.

Less than a week after a report Kawhi Leonard had a strong possibility of returning this season, news emerges the Clippers’ other star – Paul George, who has been out with an elbow injury – might be sidelined the rest of the year.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:

While the team’s initial announcement on Christmas Day stated George would be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks, the Clippers are operating under the possibility that George may not return this season, sources told B/R.

Before even assessing Leonard’s and George’s exact timelines, L.A. even making the playoffs will be challenging if they’re both sidelined a while. The Clippers (21-21) are eighth in the Western Conference with little margin for error. This team was built to compete around Leonard and George, not without them.

If George isn’t returning, that seemingly makes Leonard less likely to return. Why risk his health in a season with a lower ceiling?

The Clippers have both Leonard and George locked up long-term. Though that gives the stars security if they want to rush back, there will be other opportunities

This news also likely eliminates George from All-Star consideration. He has played well and missed just 16 games so far (a less significant number in this chaotic season). But if the absences continue to accrue, voters will likely bypass him – especially if they believe he’ll miss way more time.