Kawhi Leonard has been recruiting Paul George to find a way to get to the Clippers and LA pulled it off tonight: George goes to the Clippers with Leonard, and together they walk into Staples Center to go head-to-head with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
After Leonard pushed George to find a way to get to the Clippers, Paul George approached the team and requested a trade, league sources tell ESPN. OKC was left with no choice and made the best out of a difficult situation, per sources.
Rival NBA teams have been aware of the discontent of OKC's two stars: Paul George -- and Russell Westbrook, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA@Stadium. Leonard pushed the Clippers in recent days to deliver him a second star, and they did.
In return for Paul George, the Thunder will receive a heap of draft picks along with Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander:
Sources: Oklahoma City is getting a massive package of future picks, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Galllinari, to deliver Kawhi Leonard who he wanted to partner with: Paul George. https://t.co/4bGpMNat8K
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kawhi met up with Paul George earlier this week, paving the way to the PG13 trade so that he would be able to play alongside another All-Star with the Clippers:
Sources: Leonard and George met in LA earlier in week. Clippers had long been frontrunners for Leonard, but it is unlikely he would've made final leap to sign without PG trade. Clippers imagined Leonard as part of a Lakers Big 3 --- and knew they had no choice. They did OKC deal.
In the end, Kawhi Leonard didn't want to construct a Super Team with the Lakers. He wanted a co-star across the Staples corridor with the Clippers, and made it clear to Steve Ballmer and Lawrence Frank: Get PG, and I'm coming.
As Celtics fans, this is probably the best case scenario as Leonard departs the Eastern Conference, and opts to sign with the Lakers' in-town rivals instead of teaming up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the purple and gold.