The information broke shortly earlier than 2 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, sending the night time owls of the NBA universe right into a frenzy.
Kawhi Leonard will reportedly signal a four-year, $142 million contract with the Clippers. Similar to that, the league’s prime free agent is off the market.
MORE: NBA gamers react to Kawhi, PG-13 becoming a member of forces
However Leonard is not the one one heading to Los Angeles. The Clippers are additionally including Paul George in a surprising commerce with the Thunder, one that can ship level guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, ahead Danilo Gallinari and an avalanche of draft picks to Oklahoma Metropolis.
This can be a staggering worth (however value it) for Kawhi Leonard + Paul George:
2021 Miami (unprotected)
2022 LAC (unprotected)
2023 Miami (prime 14 prot.)
2023 decide swap
2024 LAC (unprotected)
2025 decide swap
2026 LAC (unprotected)
– Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 6, 2019
This energy play by the Clippers has already despatched shockwaves all through the NBA, so it is value lining up the instant winners and losers of Leonard’s choice.
Kawhi Leonard free company winners
Leonard performed this completely. He used all of his leverage to manage the scenario from begin to end.
The Clippers, Lakers and Raptors stayed surprisingly quiet all through the free company course of out of concern they might lose Leonard’s belief. As his suitors shut down communication to the media, Leonard recruited George, based on ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and George requested a trade out of OKC. Leonard and the members of his inside circle pulled the strings and obtained every little thing the two-time NBA Finals MVP desired.
A metropolis he desires. A company he desires. A probability at extra titles he desires. A teammate he desires. And as an added bonus, the Lakers are weaker for having waited on him.
It is the summer season of Kawhi. We’re simply alongside for the experience.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have been setting the stage for this type of splash. Property acquired as a part of the Tobias Harris and Blake Griffin trades have been instrumental within the deal for George. They attended Leonard’s video games like a school coach concentrating on a five-star prospect. They established an id because the blue collar different in LA to the Lakers.
Los Angeles obtained it accomplished, and now it has a authentic dynamic duo able to main the crew to the NBA Finals. The Clippers are already the early favorites to win the 2020 NBA championship.
No extra Michael Olowokandi jokes, of us.
Good luck making an attempt to match this checklist.
And Jerry West has now been a part of the profitable free-agent recruitment and touchdown of:
(And buying of Kobe Bryant and Paul George.)
There’s no one who comes near this within the historical past of the NBA or maybe all of sports activities.
– Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 6, 2019
Being a Clippers fan all these years lastly paid off for ol’ Billy. Take that, Jack Nicholson!
Kawhi Leonard free company losers
Los Angeles Lakers
Wait, the Lakers misplaced to… the Clippers? In free company? We should be in an alternate universe.
Not solely did the Lakers miss out on Leonard, in addition they watched from the sidelines as their different selections flew off the board. Los Angeles shortly snagged Danny Inexperienced after the Leonard information hit Twitter, however they adopted that up with the signings of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee. Is Plan B actually working it again?
Clearly having LeBron James and Anthony Davis is nice. The Lakers might advance deep into the postseason. Somebody has to fill these open slots, although. That is plenty of weight to placed on James at this level in his profession (almost 60,000 minutes mixed with the common season and playoffs). Davis has by no means reached the convention finals as the highest choice.
The Lakers have been on the verge of forming a brand new “Big Three.” Now they may not be the very best crew in their very own constructing.
This transfer is unprecedented. By no means earlier than has an NBA Finals MVP left instantly after successful a championship. Toronto will at all times have the 2019 title, however man, that is tough.
The Raptors did proper by Leonard. They stored him wholesome with “load management.” They surrounded him with a powerful roster and a sensible head coach. Once more, they received the entire freaking factor.
Leonard might have realized that Toronto solely had a possibility to go back-to-back subsequent season earlier than a bunch of his teammates hit free company. The Clippers supplied extra long-term stability. They solely wanted that second star to safe a assure from him.
With Leonard not a part of the equation, the Raptors can nonetheless attain the playoffs, however they are not near a real contender. Replay these NBA Finals highlights, Toronto.
Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder normal supervisor Sam Presti
Traded James Harden. Kevin Durant walked. Chosen poorly in latest drafts. Traded George solely a yr after re-signing him.
Presti is a revered govt, however he has to take one other L right here.
It might be rebuild time in OKC. Put together for the Russell Westbrook commerce rumors.
Completely guessing about Kawhi Leonard’s choice
So, uh, these “sources” everybody had…
Kawhi Leonard and his camp discovered it comical all through the method that he was “reportedly” headed to each crew however the Clippers. In the long run, his small circle stored everybody guessing. And that is what occurred: guessing.
– Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019