By Tommy Matthews

This news broke at 3:43 am today:

ESPN is reporting that free agent forward Paul George has agreed on a four-year, $212 million maximum contract with the Sixers.

George’s deal — which sources said includes a player option on the final season in 2027-28 — partners George with MVP center Joel Embiid and All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey in pursuit of upending the NBA champion Boston Celtics.

George and his agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA, met in Los Angeles with a 76ers contingent that included owner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and Sixers legend Julius Erving, sources said.

The Sixers even brought a front office executive, Peter Dinwiddie, who is a familiar face and friend of George’s from their years together with the Indiana Pacers, sources said.

The meeting came on the heels of months of unsuccessful negotiations between George and the LA Clippers on a deal to stay in his Southern California home.

Embiid, Maxey and George were All-Stars last season and form one of the most formidable big threes in recent NBA history — featuring an ideal roster balance among an explosive lead guard in Maxey, an elite two-way wing player in George and a dominant big man in Embiid.

With the Clippers George averaged 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals over 263 regular-season games with LA.

Now George will be hoping to reach that ultimate objective — winning an NBA championship — alongside Embiid and Maxey in Philadelphia. George’s arrival could give the Sixers the firepower to take on the Celtics in the East.

After missing most of the 2014-15 season, George has reestablished himself as one of the top two-way perimeter players in the league, averaging 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists this past season.

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