WELCOME TO PHILLY: GEORGE, JO, MAX PUT SIXERS ON PAR WITH CELTS!

By Art Beitchman

The 76ers went big-game hunting in the first hours of NBA free agency and bagged the best player on the market:

34-year-old Paul George, who has been to nine All-Star games.

George joining fellow All-Stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey forms one of the most formidable big three in the Association.

They can now match up with the NBA Champ Boston Celtics for Eastern Conference supremacy.

The Sixers were one of the few high-level playoff-caliber teams with salary cap space to pursue a player like George, who was an All-Star for the ninth time last season.

He averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists and shot 47.1% from the field, 41.3% on 3-pointers and 90.7% on free throws – almost a coveted 50-40-90 shooting season.

George, 34, has spent the past five seasons with the Clippers. He played for Oklahoma City two years before that and played for Indiana for the first seven years of his career.

Sixers Prez Daryl Morey has more firepower with draft picks to shore up the re-shaped team.

Also signed are C Andre Drummond, G Eric Gordon, and Kelly Oubre to further solidify a 2nd unit that let them down a season ago.

Big additions have made this much better in one day.

Welcome to the new NBA.

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