Lakers, Raptors Felt “They Got Played” By Kawhi Leonard in Free Agency
It’s fair to say that absolutely no one had any idea what Kawhi Leonard was thinking at the start of July.
Despite all of the reports, at the end of the day, Leonard kept his hand close to his chest and not a single credited source had any clue of what the decision was going to be. At the end, Leonard spurred the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA champion Toronto Raptors – two teams believed to be the favourites in the sweepstakes – opting to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, both the Lakers and Raptors came away very disheartened with how Leonard’s camp dealt with the entire situation.
“I heard complaints from the Lakers that they got played. I heard complaints from the Raptors that Kawhi came in and asked for the sun, the moon, the stars then left them at the altar,” said Windhorst
According to reports, Leonard initially aimed to team up with Kevin Durant. After Durant opted to sign with the Nets, Leonard pushed the Raptors and the Clippers to go all in on acquiring Paul George. Per league sources close to Adrian Wojnarowski, if a George trade was not agreed upon, Leonard was ready to join the Lakers.
The Clippers went all in on George, trading away a king’s ransom in order to put together the dynamic duo of George and Kawhi.