In one of the biggest twists in this year’s free agency period, Kawhi Leonard has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. The two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player was linked continuously with a move to the Lakers all summer (and even before), but he eventually moved to the Clippers.
Information Leak hampered Lakers’ Leonard chances
First Thing First’s Cris Carter believes that the Lakers’ chances of signing Leonard were severely hampered by an information leak- the conversation between Leonard and Magic Johnson became public knowledge.
All the information that leaked from Magic’s conversations with Kawhi team didn’t help the Lakers case.
— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) July 6, 2019
Back when the rumors of a Kawhi move to the Lakers were still rife, the Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner did say that Kawhi’s Uncle Dennis and the player himself had had several conversations with Johnson. Leonard’s camp apparently asked Johnson if they had made any attempts to trade in Kawhi while he was in San Antonio.
Paul George trade a real shock for the Lakers
It also seems like Leonard’s camp was curious about what happened between Magic Johnson and Rob Pellinka- they questioned Johnson regarding the fued between him and Pelinka.
Johnson answered by stating that Pelinka was at fault and that he was the one who talked behind Johnson’s back. Johnson further added that all this mess was behind him, and he was now entirely focused on building a team that was capable of winning the championship.
The Lakers always fancied their chances of landing, up until the move to city rivals Los Angeles Clippers was confirmed. Arsh Markazi of the Los Angeles Times believes that the Lakers were upset with Leonard’s decision, but the real shock for them, and for the whole NBA world likewise, was the trade that made Paul George move to the Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard is the first player in NBA history to join a new team right after winning Finals MVP pic.twitter.com/bXg3l2A6XG
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 6, 2019
And in the end, it was that trade that proved a deciding factor for Leonard and his move to the LA Clippers.