Kawhi Leonard was juggling loads this previous week.
The star was not solely mulling over what staff he would selected, however an ESPN report urged conferences main as much as his eventual choice to hitch the Clippers have been shut – actually.
Leonard made journeys to California and again to Toronto to have talks with the Lakers, Clippers and Raptors. He additionally needed to accommodate Paul George, who almost upstaged Leonard’s free-agency announcement along with his personal choice to hitch the current NBA champion within the West.
In response to the ESPN report, Leonard needed to relocate a gathering between Lakers executives Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka so he might meet up with George later that day.
The Lakers assembly with Kawhi Leonard was Tues afternoon at a lodge in Westlake Village. Solely Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka have been there, at KL’s request. The situation had been switched from El Segundo, at KL’s request, w/ in 24 hrs. It seems KL met with PG, close by, similar day.
– Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 6, 2019
However George wasn’t the one participant Leonard was after.
Earlier than Kevin Durant dedicated to the Nets, he bought a name from Leonard asking “if he’d consider teaming up with him” and signing with the Clippers, in accordance with one other Ramona Shelburne report.
Leonard appeared to have his eyes set on the Clippers for a while. He informed Durant the 2 would “be great complements to each other,” Shelburne famous, and that “he’d always admired him and had tremendous respect for him as a competitor.”
Whereas Durant by no means purchased in to Leonard’s pitch, it exhibits how closely the ex-Raptor was recruiting different stars to hitch him in LA.
“Leonard’s ambition in attempting to recruit Durant to the Clippers urged he was severe about becoming a member of LA in free company. But it surely additionally urged that they wanted to get him one other star.
“After the Clippers met with Leonard for approximately three hours at head coach Doc Rivers’ house in Malibu on Monday night, both sides went to work to make that happen. At the same time he was meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors this week, Leonard was meeting, calling and texting with George, trying to convince him to find a way out of Oklahoma City.”
As Durant fell out of the image, the George commerce started to happen.
George’s agent, Aaron Mintz, had referred to as the Thunder to request the transfer on behalf of his consumer a couple of days in the past, in accordance with one other ESPN report, which cited unidentified sources.
This time, Leonard’s pitch labored although George had signed a four-year take care of the Thunder final offseason.
The 2 will now staff up with the likes of Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Ivica Zubac, who re-signed with the staff after it landed Leonard.