By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Los Angeles will have two dynamic duos this upcoming season. Instead of constructing a mega super team with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
In order for Leonard to sign with the Clippers, Los Angeles acquired Paul George in a blockbuster deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not only is this a blockbuster deal, but it is also a record deal with draft assets going to the Thunder.
Oklahoma City acquired Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari in the deal. Plus, they acquired four unprotected first-round draft picks.
This includes a 2021 first-round pick from the Miami Heat. It also includes the 2022, 2024, and 2026 first-round draft picks from the Clippers.
The Thunder are also receiving a protected first-round draft pick from the Thunder in 2023 via the Heat. Also, OKC has the option to do a draft swap of first-round picks in 2023 and 2025.
Gallinari could be bought out by the Thunder. Or potentially moved again, if GM Sam Presti could find a taker for his contract.
It appears like Oklahoma City is in rebuild mode following this move. That means Gallinari, Russell Westbrook, and even Steven Adams may be on the move out the door.
Leonard and George join a team that was the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They had a 48-34 record, only trailing the Golden State Warriors (57-25) in the Pacific Division.
Tobias Harris led the Clippers in scoring at 20.9 points per game before his trade. Once he was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers, Lou Williams finished the season as the leading scorer with 20.0 points per game.
This will be George’s third NBA team in his career. But with this move, the Los Angeles native gets to return home.
Besides playing for the Thunder, he spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Indiana Pacers.
This past season — George’s second season in Oklahoma City and first after signing a max contract with the team — he appeared in 77 games, including 77 starts. He averaged a career-best 28 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 36.9 minutes per game.
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