STORY BEHIND CLIPPERS’ FREE AGENCY: Kawhi Leonard literally ‘picks’ Paul George on Clippers’ list
Just Kawhi Leonard doing Kawhi things!
Everyone was shocked when the two-time Finals MVP committed with the Clippers, while also bringing second star Paul George with him from OKC Thunder.
Many journalists and fans assumed that Leonard orchestrated a master plan in free agency that would not only change the Clippers franchise, but also the league itself.
Nope, that theory was blown way out of the proportion and the story behind Clippers’ acquisitions was way simpler than anyone might have thought of.
Of course, nobody knew what is happening behind the scenes not until this column from Los Angeles Times was published.
According to Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, he just showed Leonard a list of stars and Leonard simply picked Paul George as his partner-in-crime in their quest of becoming a championship contender.
“We actually had a list of guys, which was a mistake, but we got lucky,” Rivers said. “We shouldn’t have had a list, because then he got to choose who he wanted to play with and the assumption was that we could get them. We didn’t know if we could get anybody. We just showed him guys that we thought would match him and when he saw Paul George’s name he said, ‘I want to play with him.’
“We showed him everybody else and he didn’t want to hear it. He just stayed on Paul George, so after the meeting we sat down and I said, ‘We got to get Paul George. I don’t know how we are going to do it, but we have to do it.’ We did know that Oklahoma City wanted to break their team up, so that helped, but we didn’t know if we could get him.”
It was up to the Clippers organization on how they’ll get George via trade, but lucky for them, the Thunders were ready to blow it all up right after their first round exit against Portland Trailblazers.
This is basically the story of how Leonard build a superteam in Clippers – just by choosing someone on the list