Kawhi Leonard Signs With Clippers
LAC Also Acquire Paul George from OKC
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Clippers pulled off two major acquisitions late Friday night, as ESPN reported that free agent forward Kawhi Leonard will sign with the team, which also acquired forward Paul George in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Leonard received a four-year, $142 million maximum contract.
In order to acquire George, the Clippers will send guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and forward Danilo Gallinari to Oklahoma City. The Thunder also will receive four unprotected first-round draft picks, one protected first-round pick and two draft-pick swaps, according to the ESPN report.
Leonard, who led the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA championship after he was acquired in a trade from the San Antonio Spurs last July, reportedly selected the Clippers over the Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers.
Leonard, a 28-year-old Southern California native, averaged 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds over 60 regular-season games with the Raptors in 2018-19. He then improved on that over 24 playoff games averaging 30.5 points with 9.1 rebounds.
In the NBA Finals, Leonard scored 28.5 points per game with 9.8 rebounds as Toronto defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games.
The three-time All-Star, who was drafted 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2011, has averaged 17.7 points and 6.3 rebounds over 467 games (440 starts) with the San Antonio Spurs and the Raptors.
George, a 29-year-old who makes his offseason home in the Los Angeles area, averaged 28 points per game with 8.2 rebounds for the Thunder last season. In nine NBA seasons, George has averaged 19.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in 604 games (556 starts) with the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City.
The six-time All-Star played just six games in the 2014-15 season because of a serious leg injury. He reportedly requested a trade from the Thunder after Leonard had reached his deal with the Clippers, the ESPN report indicated.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who turns 21 next week, was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2018 draft. As a rookie for the Clippers last season, he averaged 10.8 points and 3.3 assists.
Gallinari, 30, put up career bests of 19.8 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Clippers last season.
–Field Level Media