To cap off perhaps the most entertaining first week of Free Agency in years, Kawhi Leonard has finally made his decision to leave the Toronto Raptors and join the Los Angeles Clippers forming a super team of his own managing to convince Paul George to join him in LA.
According to a tweet by NBA senior insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard wanted to join forces with Paul George and encouraged him to request a trade with the OKC Thunder. The Clippers are sending the Thunder four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick and two pick swaps. This now has set this season up to be an LA showdown at Staples Centre with Lebron James and Anthony Davis with the Lakers going up against Leonard and George with the Clippers.
This coming NBA season now presents about 6 – 8 teams who would all believe that they would be capable of winning the Championship come this time next year. The power was in Leonard’s hands with this decision with the Lakers and Raptors both pushing to acquire him however he did choose to return to his hometown in LA just not with the team that in the past few weeks many believed would get the deal done. This deal also happens to be a record in the amount of draft picks offered by the Clippers to acquire Paul George to get him to LA.
Their team is shaping up incredibly well especially defensively with Paul George being an All NBA First Defensive Team star with Leonard being known around the league as one of the toughest defensive opponents as well which we saw in his dealing with MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Eastern Conference Finals. We must also keep in mind the Clippers still have 3 time 6th Man of the year Lou Williams on their roster as well as Patrick Beverly who had a great first round these playoffs against the Warriors. With this move, they are certainly now a title contender with bringing in Leonard and George.
Despite injuries for both these players in recent years, they are still in their 20’s and are guaranteed to be title contenders with their current roster for the next 2-3 seasons at least making the Western Conference even more competitive than it already was. Many hoped Leonard did not join the Lakers as they would have become a team with 3 of the top 5 players in the world when all healthy and playing at their peak however no one anticipated he would manage to get a player like Paul George to join him making this upcoming season one of the most anticipated in a long time.