Kawhi Leonard will spend next season in Los Angeles after all.
The 6-7 wing has agreed to terms with the Clippers, according to ESPN, which cites unidentified league sources. The deal is expected to be worth a $142 million over four years.
The Clippers are sending the Thunder four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick and two pick swaps, league sources tell ESPN. Those picks go to OKC with Gallinari and SGA.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Incredibly, ESPN also reports Thunder star Paul George is joining Leonard at the Clippers, creating a blockbuster rivalry with the Lakers, who have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, will acquire Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and five first-round draft picks (four of which will be unprotected).
🗣”We coming home.”
Safe to say PG is excited about being traded to the Clippers. (via austinmcbroom/IG) pic.twitter.com/zVuugYEBmE
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 6, 2019
Leonard, 28, is fresh off a season in which he led the Raptors to the franchise’s first NBA title and claimed Finals MVP honors. It appears as if he felt playing for the Clippers was his best option moving forward.
Leonard missed 22 games in 2018-19, as the Raptors chose to use load management as a way to monitor a quad injury he suffered in 2016-17 as a member of the Spurs, an injury that paved the way for his exit from San Antonio. Leonard still averaged 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in 60 appearances in the 2018-19 regular season — helping Toronto finish second in the Eastern Conference with a 58-24 record.
His numbers got even better in the postseason, as he averaged 30.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and led all players in minutes. Though he led the Raptors to their first title, his signature moment came in Game 7 of the Eastern semifinals with his buzzer-beater to eliminate the Sixers.
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Star now has two Finals MVP awards under his belt after Toronto topped the Warriors in six games.
Leonard was this year’s most sought after free agent.