The Warriors will continue to face the wrath of Kawhi Leonard for years to come. But now, they'll do so as division rivals -- and Leonard has a fellow superstar in tow.
The 2019 NBA Finals MVP reportedly has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Yahoo's Chris Haynes was first to report the news of the agreement Friday night, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski later reported that Leonard will sign a four-year, $142 million maximum contract with LA.
Free agent forward Kawhi Leonard will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019
Sources: As expected, Kawhi Leonard: four-year, $142M maximum contract.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
But that's not it for the Clippers. LA also acquired All-Star Paul George from the Thunder for multiple NBA draft picks, Wojnarowski reported Friday night.
Oklahoma City is trading All-Star Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-setting collection of draft choices, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
There's officially a new superteam in Los Angeles. Behind closed doors, Leonard reportedly was recruiting George to the Clippers. The former Pacers and Thunder star then requested a trade from Oklahoma City, Wojnarowski reported.
Kawhi Leonard has been recruiting Paul George to find a way to get to the Clippers and LA pulled it off tonight: George goes to the Clippers with Leonard, and together they walk into Staples Center to go head-to-head with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
After Leonard pushed George to find a way to get to the Clippers, Paul George approached the team and requested a trade, league sources tell ESPN. OKC was left with no choice and made the best out of a difficult situation, per sources.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
In return, the Thunder reportedly are receiving a massive haul of draft picks, along with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari from the Clippers.
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
Leonard led the Raptors to their first championship less than one month ago in his lone season in Toronto. He dominated the Warriors in the Finals, averaging 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and earned Finals MVP honors.
Leonard, who just turned 28 years old on June 29, averaged 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in the regular season. He's a two-time Finals MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Star.
Adding George to the Leonard signing likely makes the Clippers the favorites to win the NBA title next year, meaning they'll be the Kings of LA over Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Both George and Leonard grew up in Southern California and now can take over the Staples Center.
George, 29, played like a MVP much of last season. He averaged 28 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game for the Thunder. The two-way threat has made five All-NBA teams, six All-Star teams and has been voted to the All-Defensive team four times.
With Kevin Durant moving to the Eastern Conference to join the Nets and Klay Thompson out for multiple months with a torn ACL, teams are trying to take down the Warriors in the West. The Clippers just put all their cards on the table.
Welcome to the NBA. It never stops.