Published: Sat, July 27, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Kawhi Leonard: I Was Very Close To Committing To Lakers Or Raptors

Kawhi Leonard: I Was Very Close To Committing To Lakers Or Raptors

"As long as me and him or who talked in the conversation was fair and was truthful, I don't have too much to say about it".

Kawhi Leonard is a Los Angeles Clipper and not a Los Angeles Laker.

The Clippers, who beat out the Raptors and the Lakers to sign Leonard as a free agent and traded five first-round picks and two players to the Oklahoma City Thunder for George, maintained that their offseason success was fairly won. George approached the Thunder following Leonard's push and requested a trade from the team. They drew a bigger mob than the Lakers had for Anthony Davis's introduction, owner Steve Ballmer was welcomed like a conquering hero with bear hugs and back slaps from fans, and Leonard brushed off the notion that his organization was playing in a shadow cast by LeBron James & Co.

Paul George, left, and Kawhi Leonard attend a press conference in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 24, 2019.

PG on OKC: "This was nothing that came out of the blue; we were all on the same page. Real close", Leonard admitted. George was then with the Pacers and just starting to show promise as a rookie when the Pacers selected Leonard in the very next draft, in 2011. "Kawhi was at my position and I was a bit nervous about that competition". I did that. Played another year, and it felt like we were just stagnant.

"If they didn't want to wait for me, they didn't have to", the two-time NBA Finals MVP told Yahoo Sports in an exclusive interview after the introductory press conference.

Would Leonard and George have worked out in San Antonio?

Do the Lakers, Clippers or Rockets have the most exciting tandem to watch?

With Leonard choosing the Clippers at the end of the day, we will likely see a great rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers.

"How we play is a lost art in the National Basketball Association, where guys want to get after it on both ends", said George.

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