It took almost a week of 2019 National Basketball Association free agency, but Kawhi Leonard ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Clippers over the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors. The reigning Finals MVP is from Southern California and his rumored interested in returning to that area was well reported for over a year.
Leonard had previously been linked to Durant in free agency as well, but it appears that the long-laid plans of Durant and Irving to join forces in Brooklyn were impenetrable to Leonard's influence.
As free agency progressed, there was growing optimism for the Lakers as the Clippers were unable to sign that second All-Star player to lure Leonard. By structuring his contract this way, Leonard can either sign a four-year 35 percent max deal with five percent raises after Year 2 with the Clippers or sign a five-year 35 percent max with eight percent raises after Year 3.
"This is a historic moment for our organization and our fans", said Frank.
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Leonard was reported to be making a "strong recruiting effort" in order to team up with George.
The Thunder traded George to the Clippers, and in exchange received guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari, three Los Angeles Clippers' first-round draft picks (2022, 2024 and 2026), two first-round picks via the Miami Heat (2021 and 2023) and the right to swap first-round picks in 2023 and 2025.
George is costing them a lot of money and a lot of picks.
The Thunder announced the trade Wednesday afternoon, including a statement from general manager Sam Presti on George and the transaction. I communicated to him afterwards and it was very good and I think we got a great deal out of it. "We all got that in real-time with you guys". He also averaged 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 77 games last season.
Powell has to be looking forward to next season. But the reality of it is at 34 years old, my National Basketball Association career is probably over and I am comfortable with that, Neal said.