Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster

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Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#1 » by RealGM Wiretap » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:26 pm

Doc Rivers revealed the position Kawhi Leonard took during their meeting in Malibu as the Los Angeles Clippers pitched him on their franchise.


Lawrence Frank and Steve Ballmer had planned on pursuing Leonard for more than a year.


“I actually tried to speak to him last season a couple times as he was walking by and you get nothing out of him. Nothing,” Rivers said. “He comes into this meeting and he shakes our hands and he’s talking. We were prepared for a meeting where we would have to drag things out of him. Instead, he’s the one talking and finally he tells us exactly what the deal is.


“He said, ‘I want to play for you,’ and he pointed at me. He said, ‘Mr. Ballmer, I love the things you do and what you stand for, but your team is not good enough and if you don’t change your team, I’m not coming.’ ”


Leonard wanted to sign with the Clippers, but they would have to find a way to acquire a second star.


“We actually had a list of guys, which was a mistake, but we got lucky,” Rivers said. “We shouldn’t have had a list, because then he got to choose who he wanted to play with and the assumption was that we could get them. We didn’t know if we could get anybody. We just showed him guys that we thought would match him and when he saw Paul George’s name he said, ‘I want to play with him.’


“We showed him everybody else and he didn’t want to hear it. He just stayed on Paul George, so after the meeting we sat down and I said, ‘We got to get Paul George. I don’t know how we are going to do it, but we have to do it.’ We did know that Oklahoma City wanted to break their team up, so that helped, but we didn’t know if we could get him.”


The Clippers traded five first round picks plus two pick swaps to the Oklahoma City Thunder for George.


“Steve Ballmer was nervous about the picks,” Rivers said. “I said, ‘Steve, you keep saying six picks for Paul George is insane, but you’re saying it wrong. It’s not six for Paul; it’s six for Paul and Kawhi. So three for each. I would do that.’ You have to look at it in those terms.”


The Thunder initially rejected the trade, leading the Clippers to believe he was set to sign elsewhere.


“The day of the trade at 12 noon the deal was off,” Rivers said. “I was at home in Malibu and Lawrence called me and told me, ‘It looks like he’s either going to Toronto or the Lakers.’ The Lakers part just threw me over. I told him that can’t happen. … I remember I kept telling him, ‘We cannot allow that to happen!’


“I actually told Steve jokingly that if that happens, we’re moving the team to Seattle. It was a joke, but I was actually serious about it. I really believed that.”


 

Via Arash Markazi/Los Angeles Times

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Re: Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#2 » by Sam195 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:31 am

Kawhi chose the Clippers because he wanted the most benjamins, to be on a title contender and live at home in LA/California both during the regular season when he is not on the road and in the offseason. He scored the hat trick again just like when he won the three road games in Golden State during the finals. Kawhi passed up an alleged 5 year $221M supermax with the Spurs and was traded to the Raptors for his one and done season which led to a title. However, he and Uncle Dennis were never fond of losing any of the money he passed up in San Antonio so they constructed the 2+1 $103M deal combined with the PG trade to land at home in LA to play for the Clippers. Kawhi will bank close to $65M the next two seasons before he opts out in 2021 and has early bird rights as a Clipper while also being a 10+ season nba veteran eligible for a 4 year $196M max starting at 35% of the 2021 cap (the same supermax extension Damian Lillard just inked with the Blazers). This way Kawhi will make $261M over 6 seasons (likely opting out in year 6 for another max) which roughly makes him whole or better off than the 5 year $221M max he passed on as a Spur. The lack of state taxes in Texas via the Spurs offer will more than be made up with the bigger shoe deal and off the court endorsements Kawhi is going to get as an LA kid contending on a LA title team. Raptors never had a shot because of how close Kawhi was to his nba 10+ season veteran ranking and his desire to play at home. Lakers odds tanked when Clippers landed PG and the opportunity for Kawhi to share 1/1A standing with a newly arrived PG on their own team than being delegated to the introverted third string banana role on the Lakers behind the more popular Lebron and AD. And any other benefits Uncle Dennis was able to grab from Ballmer is just pure gravy for Kawhi's camp.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#3 » by PoundTown » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:13 am

As raps fans, it will always be such a weird situation regarding this guy. In one respect, the dude left everything out on the court for us, played through noticeable injury, and risked his career to be the main driving force for a thirsty city and country to win a title. He also left a team that looked like it could be the best team in the nba for a two year window that showed him insane love and they had already won a title. We will always love him as years go by, but it does hurt a little. We always thought if we could get to the finals or win it all he’d stay and he didn’t, but definitely grateful in retrospect that a guy that knew he wasn’t staying would put that much into it and risk his career longevity to put everything into that run. In the end, we will always be the most happy for Kyle Lowry I think and he will go down as raptors goat.. he was traded to us and admitted to having a 2 years and out of Toronto mentality but signed two more contracts and won a title as the heart and soul of the team.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#4 » by BasketballJunky » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:50 am

Interesting. He’s pushing it though. He went overboard with the clippers thing. He will regret leaving Toronto they all do.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#5 » by Jabroni Lames » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:58 pm

Lee Jenkins, Minister of Propoganda, strikes again. Every time the Clippers get caught for tampering, there's always a cover-your-ass article that follows immediately. Notice how no journalist has asked Doc Rivers or a Clippers executive if they had communication with Uncle Dennis before the official free agent period started? That's basically what the NBA investigation found and is what Rivers, Ballmer, Frank & Co. are trying to distract us from here. Let's not even get into the perks and other off-the-record compensation that Uncle Dennis was requesting.

C'mon, credible NBA journalists: Ask the Clippers point blank about Uncle Dennis.

If the Uncle Dennis info gets out, then the Clippers should forfeit their 2020 1st round pick as compensation to the Raptors for season long tampering.

Prediction: Clippers WILL lose their 2020 1st round pick to the Raptors, but it will be in exchange for Marc Gasol at the trade deadline.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#6 » by IkeDoIt » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:41 pm

BasketballJunky wrote:Interesting. He’s pushing it though. He went overboard with the clippers thing. He will regret leaving Toronto they all do.


Yeah, because I'm very sure Chris Bosh wishes he spent the last 5 seasons of his career in Toronto instead of Miami
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Re: Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#7 » by Throwback24 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:52 pm

IkeDoIt wrote:
BasketballJunky wrote:Interesting. He’s pushing it though. He went overboard with the clippers thing. He will regret leaving Toronto they all do.


Yeah, because I'm very sure Chris Bosh wishes he spent the last 5 seasons of his career in Toronto instead of Miami


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Re: Kawhi Leonard Told Clippers He Preferred Signing With Them If They Improved Roster 

Post#8 » by Cactus Jack » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:52 pm

RealGM Wiretap wrote:“I actually told Steve jokingly that if that happens, we’re moving the team to Seattle. It was a joke, but I was actually serious about it. I really believed that.”

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