Apologies for making the obvious and surely overused joke, but the NBA was dealt a massive shakeup on Friday night.
Just a few hours after the Las Vegas Summer League had its games suspended due to a massive earthquake in Southern California, the biggest offseason news landed: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are heading to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Leonard - fresh off winning Finals MVP in his only season with the Toronto Raptors - was reportedly choosing between signing with the Raptors, Clippers, and Los Angeles Lakers. With almost all of the free agents off the board, Leonard was the last domino to fall - and the biggest.
While he kept his decision making silent - no (credible) leaks emerged during the process - details have no emerged. Leonard didn’t want to join the Lakers potential superteam, which already features LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But he did want to play with a star.
Earlier reports said that Leonard called Kevin Durant, but Durant was already intent on leaving the Golden State Warriors to join Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. So Leonard shifted his attention to George.
George, just one year into a contract that he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, was on board, and forced the issue by asking for a trade. Once the Thunder and Clippers agreed to a deal - centered around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a huge number of first-round draft picks - Leonard agreed to return home to Southern California.
Free agent forward Kawhi Leonard will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019
Kawhi Leonard and his camp found it comical throughout the process that he was “reportedly” headed to every team but the Clippers. In the end, his small circle kept everyone guessing. And that’s what occurred: guessing.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019
Sources: As expected, Kawhi Leonard: four-year, $142M maximum contract.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Oklahoma City is trading All-Star Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-setting collection of draft choices, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
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.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
The NBA is insane, the Western Conference is ridiculously stacked, and the Clippers just might be championship favorites.