In the biggest move in this year’s NBA free agency, Kawhi Leonard decided to leave Toronto Raptors and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. The 28-year-old 2019 NBA Finals MVP also managed to recruit Paul George to come with him and form one of the best duos in the league. But as it turns out, Leonard wanted to team up several other stars before settling in on George.
In a piece published on ESPN on Monday, the magazine’s senior writer Zach Lowe reported that several sources told him that Leonard initially recruited Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to come play with him in LA.
We already knew that Kawhi Leonard reached out to Durant at some point in the past few weeks, but his attempt to partner up with Irving is something new. Leonard’s recruitment attempts, however, fell short as Irving and Durant decided to go to New York and for another championship contender with Brooklyn Nets.
According to sources, Leonard was reluctant to join Los Angeles Clippers without a second superstar, so he contacted George and convinced him to ask for a trade from Oklahoma City Thunder. Clippers managed to engineer a trade with OKC and Leonard then agreed to sign a four-year $142 million max deal with the franchise.