Deciding to shock the basketball world in the middle of the night, Kawhi Leonard announced his intentions to take his talents to the Clippers after a prolonged free agency decision. In the hours following Leonard’s surprise decision to join forces with Paul George on the Clippers, some details have started to surface regarding how the entire ordeal came to be.
Follow the Heavy Los Angeles Lakers page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Kawhi Leonard Moved Lakers Meeting In Order To Recruit Paul George
Interestingly, it seems that the Lakers were strung along by Leonard as other reports have surfaced that had the Clippers not landed Paul George, Leonard would have returned to Toronto. Shortly after requesting a new meeting location with the Lakers, Leonard set up another nearby meeting with Paul George in which they laid the groundwork for the blockbuster set of deals that would shake the NBA.
Both the Raptors and Clippers were a part of negotiations for Paul George while the Lakers seemed to be left out in the dust, unaware of the massive proceedings going on behind their back.
While Leonard was likely considering the Lakers to an extent, the pair of reports paint a picture that seems more along the lines that Leonard was only seriously considering the Clippers and Raptors. Even NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Kawhi was against the idea of forming a super team in Los Angeles alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Lakers Contingency Plan After Kawhi Leonard
Immediately after losing out on Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers sprinted into action and signed a number of players to team-friendly deals. Initially landing Danny Green, followed by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee – the Lakers made an immediate splash in the hours that followed.
The Lakers would go on to sign DeMarcus Cousins, Quinn Cook, and Rajon Rondo as well – all within a 24 hour window of losing out on Kawhi Leonard. Included restricted free agents Alex Caruso and Jonathan Williams, the Lakers now have 14 players on the roster and should be expected to spend a bit more (as they still have remaining cap space) in order to help add some more depth at either the forward or wing positions.
Lakers and Clippers Set to Meet In Vegas Summer League
The Lakers and Clippers coincidentally lock horns in a Las Vegas Summer League matchup tonight. With Vegas in such close proximity to Los Angeles, Thomas Mack Arena should be packed with fans of both teams as the Staples Center roommates do battle.
The Clippers are making their Summer League debut while the Lakers have a bit of seasoning after playing in the California Classic and losing their first matchup of the Vegas League against the Chicago Bulls.