Kawhi Leonard was close to choosing Lakers

Kawhi Leonard was close to choosing Lakers

"If we go to the championship and win and we don't get no coverage, that's fine with me".

"Leonard would have likely chosen the Lakers if the Clippers hadn't found a way to pull off the blockbuster trade for George, league sources told Yahoo Sports", Haynes reported.

Now George and Leonard are teammates with the LA Clippers, which nearly didn't happen, as Leonard told Nichols.

Curiously, Leonard and George both spoke about the moment when their paths almost crossed previously.

While there have been heated debates about if the Lakers should have waited on Leonard, they made the right decision for one of the top-three players in the league right now - at worst.

"This is probably going to be my first time playing with an elite player on his level around the same age as me", Leonard said.

The reigning Finals MVP denied such cases, telling Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that the leaks from Magic had no effect on his decision and that he never intended "to screw anybody over". We played another year & it felt like we were just stagnant. "I was close, but I ended up on the other side".

- Rachel Nichols (@Rachel_Nichols) July 24, 2019Paul told me his conversation with Russ about all this "was easy, same conversation me and Russ always have".

It took a lot of work, but the Lakers gave themselves an opportunity to pursue Leonard this offseason.

George, meanwhile, opened up on how he was acquired via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder. I did that - played another year.

With Leonard choosing the Clippers at the end of the day, we will likely see a great rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers. "Next thing was, let's move forward with other plans".

In completing the trade, the Clippers have saved parity in the National Basketball Association, sure to be doomed if Leonard had joined the already-potent LeBron James, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Kyle Kuzma ensemble.

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