July 06, 2019

L.A. Clippers Land Kawhi Leonard, Paul George: The NBA offseason continues to be monumental. Kawhi Leonard is signing with the Los Angeles Clippers and is bringing Paul George with him. The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded George to the Clippers, receiving their unprotected 2022, 2024 and 2026 picks, their unprotected 2021 and protected 2023 first-round picks (from Miami), the rights to exchange picks in 2023 and 2025, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari. This is a good year to be the second-most famous NBA team in your metropolitan area.

posted by rcade to basketball at 09:37 AM - 13 comments

Does this seem...excessive?...on the Clippers' part for Paul George?

posted by NoMich at 10:20 AM on July 06

To me it seems excessive unless you believe Leonard and George make you a team that's always in the conference finals or finals, where you're not building through the draft for an extended period anyway. But picks through 2026! Players are the new owners.

posted by rcade at 10:30 AM on July 06

They overpaid for George. And then some. No surprise. It's their DNA. Donald Sterling was in a forced sale situation and Ballmer came along and decided to pay 2 billion for the team instead of a sane, market-based sum.

These picturebook roster and location scenarios don't always go well, and an assembled team is always just a Gordon Hayward moment away from a tough situation.

This is a good year to be the second-most famous NBA team in your metropolitan area.

I don't see the Nets or Clippers ascending the NBA heights with these deals. I think they're both ill advised. It'll be fun to watch the Clippers and Lakers do their high stakes eagle and leopard act though.

If Donovan is still coaching in OKC when the draft choices start materializing, it'll be interesting to see what he does with the influx of young talent.

Meanwhile, I'll be rooting for less glittery butt kicking hard workers (a la 2004 Pistons) to provide some satisfying reality checks whenever possible.

posted by beaverboard at 10:31 AM on July 06

The Monkey Paw is working over time this off-season:

Knicks: I want KD and Irving to play in New York.

/monkey paw closes two fingers

Lebron: I want Kawhi and PG to join me in LA.

/monkey paw closes two more fingers

posted by grum@work at 10:38 AM on July 06

As a Raptors fan, I'm sad to see Kawhi leave, but I definitely don't have any ill feelings towards him. He came to a place he wasn't expecting to play, helped win the first championship for the city, and then left to play where he wanted to in the first place.

When he returns with the Clippers, he'll get his ring and a HUGE standing ovation.

I wish him well.

Now Masai has his work cut out for him (but he's got almost infinite leeway from the fans at this point).

posted by grum@work at 10:41 AM on July 06

I'm not all that surprised that Kawhi signed with the Clips. But I'm shocked at the OKC trade, especially this late in the FA season. Best case scenario for the Thunder it winds up like the Herschel Walker trade. Kind of (more than) sucks for Russ though.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:48 AM on July 06

This is another argument for putting the free agency period ahead of the draft. How many teams were actively looking for point guards this season? I can quickly count at least 6 or 7. Settle the free agency situation first, and now the trade market will heat up both for player swaps and for moves in the draft order. Had this deal gone down before the draft, would OKC have put Westbrook on the market too? Demand would have been high, and think of what OKC would have been able to do with all those draft picks on the trade market. Begin free agency on the date when the draft started this year, maybe earlier, and do the draft on July 1. The summer leagues would have to be put back a couple of weeks, but that should be of little consequence. Some GMs, Boston's Danny Ainge among them, have already lobbied to put free agency first. It makes a bit of sense to me.

After getting Kawhi and PG, it will take major surgery to get the grin off of Doc Rivers' face.

posted by Howard_T at 12:21 PM on July 06

Had this deal gone down before the draft, would OKC have put Westbrook on the market too?

There are reports the Thunder talked to the Raptors about trading George and Westbrook.

posted by rcade at 01:07 PM on July 06

I'm kind of getting used to the Clippers logo, but OKC really should have bundled a good graphic design/ branding team in with the George trade.

posted by beaverboard at 05:15 PM on July 06

"For the first time in a long time, the NBA has no superteam. Had Kawhi signed with the Lakers, the league would be in a different place. For now, the Nuggets, Jazz, Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Rockets, Warriors, 76ers, Nets, and more are in contention." -- SB Nation

This feels true to me. An NBA with five or more legitimate championship contenders would be great. I just wish Dallas was one of them.

posted by rcade at 05:53 PM on July 06

I think they gave up way too much for PG. But they do already have a decent amount of young talent, a great coach, and the best all around player in the game. It's win now time for the Clips. They've bet their next 10 years on it.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:31 PM on July 08

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