What an ridiculou turn of events.
Kawhi Leonard’s free bureau has ended in an absolute stunner. The 2019 NBA Finals MVP has signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, and in the process, delivered Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George with him.
At around 2 a.m. ET, two stunners smashed. First, Leonard was spurning the Lakers and Raptors to go to the Clippers.
Free agent forward Kawhi Leonard will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019
And then the real stunner: the Clippers determined their second star, and it’s one of the last people you’d expect: Paul George.
Oklahoma City is trading All-Star Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-setting collection of draft options, league informants tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@ wojespn) July 6, 2019
The Thunder will reportedly receive Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and multiple draft pickings from the Clippers — four unprotected firstlies, plus an additional first-rounder and two pick swaps. This was not their choice, but George reportedly requested a trade once Leonard tried to convince him to come to the Clippers.
After Leonard pushed George to find a way to get to the Clippers, Paul George approached the team and requested a commerce, tournament sources tell ESPN. OKC was left with no choice and made the best out of a difficult situation, per sources.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@ wojespn) July 6, 2019
L.A. is now time have George and Leonard going up against LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Unreal.
The latest rumors
Toronto’s trade for Leonard was always viewed as a one-year rental, with his reported desire to go play back home for the LA Clippers. The Raptors won the NBA championship, and Leonard still moved there, armed with a hotshot moving teammate. The Lakers were said to be in the running, but Leonard is notoriously hard to read.
Here’s all the silliness that led up to this amazing moment.
How we got here
Leonard’s desire to leave the San Antonio Spurs came as a scandalize. After all, the Spurs dealt George Hill for the No. 15 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft to select Leonard and add him to their championship team. It was Gregg Popovich who have contributed to develop Leonard into the offensive wizard he has become today. Who known to be his vocation arcs if San Antonio never draws the initiation on the draft rules of day deal.
But they did, and he morphed into an NBA Finals MVP seemingly overnight. First Leonard destroyed the Miami Heat dynasty, dethroning them as recur champions with a convincing 4-1 serials win in 2014. Then, he set the Golden State Warriors — which has recently added Kevin Durant to a team that won 73 plays the season before — on notice in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.
But you know how that narrative purposes. Leonard scored 26 points in 24 times, committing the Spurs a 24 -point lead at Oracle Arena. Then he property on Zaza Pachulia’s foot coming down from a jump shot in the third quarter. He grabbed his ankle and was helped off the flooring, never to play again in that series. The Warriors went on to sweep the series and overcome the Cavaliers for their second championship in three years.
Landing on Pachulia’s paw morphed into a quadriceps harm that strained the relationship between Leonard and the Spurs’ medical team. He eventually sought independent doctors in New York. He played in nine plays, but visibly labored and is not the same thing musician the world was accustomed to seeing.
Leonard reportedly requested a trade, and the Los Angeles Clippers seemed to be his preferred destination. San Antonio obliged, but instead transmitted him and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and the 2019 first-round draft pick they used to select Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson — pennies on the dollar for a musician of Leonard’s caliber, injured or not.
The Raptors greeted Leonard with open arms. His opening-day press conference went viral because he laughed, awkwardly. Toronto didn’t force him to play in back-to-backs and rested him in critical stretchings, like three games in four darkness. He simply playing in 60 regular-season plays, but it was enough for the Raptors to secure the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Leonard’s load was managed in the regular season so he could be loosed in the playoffs. He wreaked havoc on Orlando, sunk the Sixers with a Game 7 rim-tapping buzzer-beater, then predominated the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals after Toronto fell behind 0-2. By the time he got to the NBA Finals, it was the Warriors who were battered, with season-ending injuries to both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and other substantial injuries to DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney and Andre Iguodala.
Leonard destroyed the Warriors dynasty that has since destroyed him, committing him two Finals MVPs on two different crews. Merely LeBron James has done that.
Read more: sbnation.com