Kawhi Leonard will sign with the LA Clippers, per multiple reports.
The news, that was 1st reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, can have an amazing impact on the league. Leonard, a 28-year-old forward, is coming back off a championship campaign in his solely season with the Toronto Raptors, earning his second NBA Finals most valuable player within the process.
Paul George is additionally headed to the Clippers once LA traded for the All-Star forward, sending the Oklahoma City Thunder four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round choose and 2 pick swaps, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Further reports indicated that Southern California natives George and writer met earlier within the week, that resulted in George asking Oklahoma City for a trade. With the Clippers reportedly distressed regarding Leonard either staying in Toronto (or worse for them) connexion the Los Angeles Lakers, a raft of assets was within the offing.
The 29-year-old George — who is owed roughly $105 million for following 3 seasons — spent the last 2 years aboard Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. George averaged a career-best twenty eight points last season even whereas addressing shoulder problems that needed surgery, and therefore the Thunder could not get out of the first round in either of these seasons.
He was a competitor for each NBA most valuable player and Defensive Player of the Year last season, once he led the league with 2.21 steals per contest.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri acquired Leonard and Danny Green before last season during a daring gamble, causation franchise icon DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs in July — coming back off a season Leonard appeared in exactly 9 games whereas addressing a right quadricep injury.
During the regular season, Leonard averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 34.0 minutes across 60 games. however he upped his line across the board during a fantastic postseason run (30.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.9 apg) that enclosed the NBA’s 1st series-clinching buzzer-beater during a Game seven once he turned back the Philadelphia 76ers on a panoramic four-bounce 3-pointer within the eastern Conference semifinals.
Leonard ultimately finished the postseason with 732 points, the third-highest total within the history of the NBA playoffs, trailing solely Michael Jordan (759; 1992) and LeBron James (748; 2018).
Already joining LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the solely players to win Finals most valuable player for multiple groups, Leonard would become first reigning Finals most valuable player to play for a special team since the award was first given go in the 1969 Finals.
The Toronto exit makes Leonard the third superstar Raptor to depart the team via representation, following Tracy McGrady (Orlando Magic; 2000) and Chris Bosh (Miami Heat; 2010). The bones of a competitive squad stay for Ujiri and his staff. The team, because it stands, are going to be led by veterans Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol, and complemented by rising star Pascal Siakam — who attained the 2018-19 Kia Most Improved Player award. Their player development program has brought on many players either elect late or unchosen within the draft, providing a depth of talent that enables for an on-the-fly rebuild.
The Lakers did not wait long before commencing to travel from their look for Leonard. Danny Green proclaimed that he’s signing a two-year deal with the Lakers, meaning he, too, is going Toronto.
“Kawhi has made his decision. seems like the announcement is out,” Green aforementioned during a video he announce to his social media accounts. “It’s time for me to make my announcement … i will be teaming up with new teammates in LA, the Los Angeles Lakers.”
Still, Leonard’s call puts a damper on the Lakers’ offseason quest furthermore — even though they will settle a trade Saturday to usher in Anthony Davis from New Orleans and landed the type of shooter than LeBron James craves by adding Green.
Leonard was, by far, the biggest name left on the free agent market. the opposite marquee names during this category like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker all created their choices notable relatively quickly.
And like Durant, Irving and Walker, he’s ever-changing addresses.