The Clippers landed two stars this offseason.
Los Angeles acquired Paul George in a blockbuster deal with the Thunder earlier this month and also signed free agent Kawhi Leonard, who was named the Finals MVP after leading the Raptors to the championship last season.
But, those weren’t the only top-line players the Clippers inquired about.
Los Angeles looked into potential trades for the Wizards’ Bradley Beal and the Rockets’ James Harden, but neither “was available,” according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources.
The team then went on to add George by sending guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari, five future first-round selections and two pick swaps to the Thunder. George has three-years remaining on his contract.
Jerry West, who serves as an advisor in the Clippers’ front office, discussed the impact Leonard and George will have on the team during a recent interview with “The Dan Patrick Show.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it where players can recruit other players and so I guess that’s the modern-day NBA,” West said.” “It’s just so different. Players are free to move around, agents and players contribute where they go. … It really does wonders for a franchise. It’s just hard to describe the excitement within the Clipper organization.
“(Leonard and George) have complete admiration for each other’s game. I try to be completely fair and honest to all the players in this league, but I honestly think they’re the best two-way players in basketball and to get them on one night is pretty remarkable. … But those players talked and I’m not so sure that maybe if Kawhi hadn’t had some influence on Paul that we would’ve been able to make a deal with Oklahoma City. Obviously, we paid a big price.”
Leonard signed a three-year, $103 million deal, which contains a player option in 2021-22, with Los Angeles.