Early this morning around 2am EST, the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes finally ended, with Leonard ending up in LA, albeit for the Clippers, not the Lakers.
But he was not coming alone.
Paul George of the OKC Thunder had requested a trade from OKC after Leonard made it clear to him and the Clippers organization that he wanted PG13 to come along with him, so the Clippers and Thunder worked out a monstrous trade deal.
In the trade, the Clippers got Paul George and the Thunder ended up getting Four future unprotected first-round picks, Danilo Gallinari, and yes, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who the Clippers had deemed untradable just a few months ago.
OKC acquired THREE unprotected first-round picks from the Clippers in this trade (2022, 2024 and 2026), league sources say, PLUS two firsts from Miami (2021 unprotected and 2023 protected 1-to-14) ... AND the right to swap picks with the Clips in 2023 and 2025. Staggering— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 6, 2019
Sources: Leonard and George met in LA earlier in week. Clippers had long been frontrunners for Leonard, but it is unlikely he would've made final leap to sign without PG trade. Clippers imagined Leonard as part of a Lakers Big 3 --- and knew they had no choice. They did OKC deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Shai was being built as the point guard of the future for the Clippers, but when you have a chance to nab both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, it’s hard to blame them for making the trade, as Shai was the most valuable asset the Clippers had.
Now playing in Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook, Shai might be more primarily playing the two-guard position. I am not a fan of Shai having to go to OKC, but only time will tell how good he’ll be there.