Danny Green became one of several free agents to sign with the Lakers after Kawhi Leonard joined the Clippers over the weekend, and he opened up about his decision on his podcast “Inside the Green Room with Danny Green.”
The former Raptors guard went into detail about Leonard’s decision, while also revealing why the Lakers won out over other teams — like the Raptors and the Mavericks — that showed interest in him.
“I think our time was kinda up, but I think he was just trying to find the best situation where he could win,” Green said of Leonard and whether they were considering returning to Toronto. “And same for me, where we can win now. I’m getting older now, two or three years. The only reason why I kinda held off on Dallas a little bit is because it’s going to take some time. And I think L.A. probably is more in contention, more so sooner than Dallas is.”
Green explained that the Mavericks heavily pursued him and were contenders, but he felt it would take too long for them to build a championship-winning team.
“They expressed their interest, but at the same time as much as I wanted to be there, I knew that was going to be a building type of deal there and it was going to take two or three years before they started getting into the contention or to contender category I felt,” Green explained. “It all depended on how KP (Kristaps Porzingis) health-wise was, Luka (Doncic)’s coming up. A lot of things come into factor when it came to that.
“It was a really hard conversation where I felt pressured into making the decision quick, because they put the heat on, but everybody in my family was like, ‘Be patient, relax, wait it out and see what happens first before you start jumping into anything.'”
One aspect that made it hard for Green to make his decision was the fact that he was waiting for Leonard to decide first.
“See, I talked to him in between meetings, ‘Oh I just got out of this meeting.’ ‘Alright, well how did it go?’ ‘Alright, it went good.’ ‘So, are you ruling this team out? Are you ruling this team out? Because I need to know man.’ And he’s like, ‘No, they’re still up there, they had a good meeting, we have another meeting tomorrow,'” Green said.
“So we’ve got to wait another day? And it seemed like forever, it’s only been five, six days really but damn. Day three you’re like, ‘Come on dude!’ Like, damn, feels like a month. But, I mean, I understand why he was waiting. I think he was waiting for both, or all three parties, to make moves — except for the Lakers — but the Clippers and Toronto, see what moves they’re going to make, what pieces they’re going to add to improve, or I guess to surround him. Especially in L.A.”
Green and Leonard have been teammates for quite some time as the two played together with the Spurs starting in 2011. They both were traded to the Raptors last summer.