*Kawhi Leonard has finally decided what team he wants to play for next season and that team is …. the Los Angeles Clippers!
As you, like a lot of NBA fans know, Leonard had narrowed down his decision to three teams: the Toronto TRaptors (the team he just won an NBA championship with); the Los Angeles Lakers; and the Clippers. Obviously, the Clippers did all the right things to make Leonard happy enough to sign with them.
Here’s more from Clips Nation:
The coup of signing arguably the best player in the league is tremendous validation for this organization. The Clippers front office believed it was building something great, and multiple executives (Michael Winger and Trent Redden) chose to stay in Los Angeles on lesser roles to be part of this team’s future. Now, they have the core of last year’s 48-win team and the ultimate cheat code in postseason play, an unguardable isolation scorer who can also defend the best offensive threats on opposing teams.
The Clippers were well-equipped for next season whether or not they signed Leonard, given their depth up and down the roster and the leadership of head coach Doc Rivers. But it would be disingenuous to say the team didn’t put a lot of eggs in the Leonard basket. They recruited him as hard as they could, knowing what he could mean for this franchise. With Leonard, the Clippers become a title contender for the first time since the Lob City era, and arguably have a better team than any of those squads.
We will have more to come about Leonard’s fit with the Clippers. For now, celebrate. This is a monumental moment in franchise history.
Wait! There’s more.
The LA Clippers are proving they are more than serious and don’t intend to take a backseat to anyone. The team has also acquired Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder, so says NBA.com.
Oklahoma City is trading All-Star Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-setting collection of draft choices, league sources tell ESPN. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Needless to say, this move didn’t just happen by chance either. Also, according to Adrian ESPN’s Wojnarowski, Leonard had been recruiting George, who reportedly then requested a trade and will arrive exchange for a “record-setting” package of draft picks and players:
The Clippers are sending the Thunder four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick and two pick swaps, league sources tell ESPN. Those picks go to OKC with Gallinari and SGA.