Holy shit folks. As if free agency didn’t already shake things up enough this year, we’ve got Kawhi headed back to the Western Conference and Paul George, who for some reason wanted to stay in Oklahoma City, being traded for a RECORD number of draft picks.
Free agent forward Kawhi Leonard will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019
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
According to Woj, the deal is for 4 years, $142M. And it was all done because Kawhi told gunslingin’ Jerry West to go get PG13, and he did it. Off-loaded every pick the Clippers will ever have again in the process, but he literally turned his team from an annoyance to a problem. I mean, Christ, the starting 5 is basically an all-defense team. Good luck.
To be honest, I think this is probably better for the NBA, too. As our boy @DanteOnDeck once said, Kawhi joining up with AD and LeBron would’ve legit ruined the league. We’d have gone right back to where we’ve been the last 5 years. The NBA is a superstar-driven league. We all know that. But if we can spread these stars out, and keep them in pairs instead of trios and foursomes, the talent can be a little more evenly balanced.
I was just talking about this on my podcast, Live from the Middle Urinal about how this is the first time in awhile that it seems like the league is a little more evenly split. The West has run things for quite some time. It’s been the talent-loaded conference. And now, with KD moving to the east, Giannis having his “oh wait, I can be an MVP” season, and a number of slightly over talented teams (lots of talent that didn’t really mesh; looking at you Boston and Philly) spreading some guys out, it actually feels like it might be more of a balanced league. I’m excited for this. Also, as a Celtics fan, any time the Lakers don’t get their guy (and even more so for the Clips to steal him from under their noses) it makes me happy.
So basically, if it wasn’t going to be Toronto, I’m glad it wasn’t the Lakers. Plus, the Clippers aren’t a joke anymore—nor have they been for 2-3 years now—and this makes them a contender. A legit contender. With KD hurt, Kawhi is currently the best player in the league. And now his number 2 guy goes from Kyle Lowery (no offense) to Paul George. This is going to be a scary team that can spread the floor and play lockdown defense. If I’m in the West, I’m worried about the Clippers. Shoutout to Ballmer for spending and getting the guys, and shoutout to Jerry West for just running things as a GM. Everything he touches turns gold. The fuckin’ logo, man.
This season is gonna be a wild one. Here we go!