After weeks of speculation, Kawhi Leonard made his free agency decision late Friday night (July 5), bypassing the opportunity to rejoin the Toronto Raptors and defend their newly won NBA title and instead signed not with the Los Angeles Lakers but the Los Angeles Clippers.
Not only that, the Clippers swung a trade that brought All-NBA talent Paul Geroge back to Southern California, establishing the most wide-open NBA season in recent memory.
Leonard will ink a 4-year deal worth $142 million. The Clippers traded Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari along with a ton of draft picks in order to create another dynamic duo out West.
Leonard’s decision not to join LeBron James, Anthony Davis , and the Los Angeles Lakers makes Staples Center home to the league’s most eye-catching rivalry, Lakers vs. Clippers. It remains to be seen what happens when the NBA season kicks off in October.
The NBA world of course was STUNNED at the news.