Paul George is traded to LA and Kawhi Leonard agrees to contract
Get ready for more aftershocks LA as the Clippers are making waves in the West. It’s been an insane journey and the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes has finally come to an end. After the first week of NBA free agency comes to a close, the heavily anticipated news on where Leonard was gonna go finally breaks.
Brooklyn made waves earlier this week when they agreed to terms with Kyrie Irving and shipped D’Angelo Russell to the Warriors in a sign and trade deal for Kevin Durant. Now, after the weeks end, Kawhi Leonard has revealed his destination. In an ordeal that was kept very close to the vest, Kawhi kept his new locale a heavily protected secret, but what factor did he play in the acquisition of Paul George?
LA has been shaken up enough already with all these earthquakes the past couple days, but now the city can finally rest knowing that the hopes of a championship may be within grasp. The Clippers sent Danilo Gallinari and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, as well as an abundant slew of draft picks, to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for All-Star Forward Paul George. Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to break news of the trade via ESPN.
Apparently the Russell Westbrook/Paul George experiment didn’t work out; as frustration and tension began to brew between the two standout athletes. According to reports Kawhi Leonard himself ‘enticed’ George to request a trade to LA in order to pair the stars together.
Leonard, coming off an outstanding year and an NBA Finals MVP, will reportedly sign a four-year $142 million contract with the Clippers, a move that now sets up the Western Conference for open competition. Toronto will forever remember and thank Kawhi for bringing them their first ever championship, but after all the celebration and smoke settled, L.A. was his true destination. Now he looks to challenge the Golden State Warriors’ Finals appearance streak, as well as stunt a rising Lakers team that just acquired Anthony Davis in a high class trade of their own.
Pairing George and Leonard was probably one of the smartest choices for Michael Winger. L.A. is now immediately a championship contender again, and the only team that looks to pose an NBA finals threat in the East are the Brooklyn Nets. Seems the new strategy to take down the Warriors is to make their path to the Finals as difficult as possible.
All that can be said about this week in NBA free agency is WOW. Below is a list of my top 10 notable signings and roster moves:
|PLAYER||POS||OLD TEAM||NEW TEAM||CONTRACT DETAILS|
|1||Kawhi Leonard||F||Raptors||Clippers||4 year $142M deal|
|2||Kevin Durant||F||Warriors||Nets||4 year, $164M deal|
|3||Kyrie Irving||G||Celtics||Nets||4 year, $141M deal|
|4||Klay Thompson||G||Warriors||Warriors||5 year $190M deal|
|5||Kemba Walker||G||Hornets||Celtics||4 year 141M deal|
|6||Jimmy Butler||G||76ers||Heat||4 year $142M deal|
|7||Khris Middelton||F||Bucks||Bucks||5 year $178M deal|
|8||D’Angelo Russell||G||Nets||Warriors||4 year $117M deal|
|9||Al Horford||C||Celtics||76ers||4 year $109M deal|
|10||Paul George||F||Thunder||Clippers||Traded from Thunder|
Today marks the day that all these contracts can become official (prior to now all agreements were just verbal.) The stage is set; and if the 2019-2020 NBA season is even half as exciting as this free agency frenzy has been, then we are in for one of the most exciting seasons in recent history. It would appear safe to say that L.A. is already very ‘shaken’ up, so to the residents be safe, and to the NBA hopefully we won’t have any more summer league delays!