After a week of reflection, Kawhi Leonard signed a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Clippers early Saturday morning, Leonard's sister confirmed via Instagram.
However, Leonard agreed to vote for the Clippers only after they had agreed in principle on an equally astonishing deal to acquire Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder, two team officials with knowledge of the business who do not have authority were to discuss it publicly.
Leonard will sign a $ 142 million four-year deal with the Clippers, according to Yahoo Sports, announcing for the first time that the sides had a deal.
Less than a month after the Toronto Raptors had been led to their first franchise history championship, Leonard met representatives of the Raptors, Clippers, and Lakers over the past few days. The following considerations sparked great curiosity and impatience in the league, especially as Leonard and his representatives insisted that the teams recruiting him say nothing.
But it turned out that Leonard took the extra time to win George for the team that supported him, working for nearly four decades in the shadow of the Lakers in Los Angeles. Leonard successfully persuaded George to fight for a deal by Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, according to a person who was close to the negotiations and had no authority to discuss them publicly.
ESPN reported for the first time that the Clippers had reached an agreement with the Thunder to acquire George, who won the signing of Leonard.
The New York Times reported for the first time last month that Leonard would only agree to join the Clippers in front of the Raptors or Lakers if they had managed to take a second All-Star with them.
agreed to make three future unprotected preliminary rounds for the first round (2022, 2024 and 2026), two future preliminary rounds for the first round relayed from the Miami Heat to Oklahoma City (unprotected in 2021 and protected by 1 to 14 in 2023), according to a person with knowledge of the terms and conditions. The Thunder also has the right to swap the first picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025, depending on the person.
The thunder will also acquire the promising guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the experienced striker Danilo Gallinari depending on the person. It's the most of what a team has given up in a trade for a superstar player, but the Clippers clearly felt that they had to part with all those draft assets and two quality players to make sure that Leonard beat them Lakers chose.
LeBron James and his co-star at Lakers, Anthony Davis, have been working hard for Leonard to leave Toronto and join them to form a superteam after Leonard's N.B.A. Final most valuable player performance in the last month. Due to what the Clippers have done, the Staples Center will be showing duel superstar tandems next season: James and Davis versus Leonard and George.
This is an evolving story.