Social media erupts over NBA moves
THE biggest fish in the NBA Free Agency market has made up his mind, with Kawhi Leonard announcing he's signing a maximum four-year, $142 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Leonard's decision had the entire basketball world furiously refreshing their social media feeds waiting for an announcement.
After Free Agency opened, the deals came in thick and fast, but Leonard wasn't going to be rushed and held off as the moratorium approached.
Yahoo's Chris Haynes broke the news of Leonard's signing.
But while that news sent basketball fans wild, it was what came next that almost broke the internet.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Clippers had engaged in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for All-Star forward Paul George.
The deal involves the Clippers sending Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari along with four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick and two pick swaps.
Free agent forward Kawhi Leonard will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2019
Wojnarowski reported Leonard and George met in LA earlier in the week and that the Clippers knew they had to broker a deal to land the big fish.
ESPN also reported that Leonard pushed George to join him at the Clippers, with the latter then requesting a trade out of Oklahoma City.
George and Russell Westbrook had begun to have issues with one another, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
The Clippers were locked in a three-way race against their crosstown rival the Lakers along with the Toronto Raptors for Kawhi.
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
Many pundits over the past several days had ruled out the Clippers after several big-name free agents made their decisions.
But in a stunning reversal and one that shook the NBA to its core, the Clippers landed the biggest name on the market while putting him alongside another All-Star in Paul George.
Shortly after the announcement the Lakers signed Leonard's former San Antonio Spurs and Raptors teammate Danny Green to a two-year, $30 million deal.
The insane moves sent social media into rapid meltdown.
What in the world just happened????— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) July 6, 2019
What it do babyyyyyy— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) July 6, 2019
Bruh, speechless!— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) July 6, 2019
Everyone: Kawhi has basically been connected to only the Lakers and Raptors. The Clippers are out of it— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 6, 2019
The Clippers: pic.twitter.com/gzY8QMryog
I’m not even mad. What a boss move by the Clippers. My god.— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) July 6, 2019
Nothing good happens after midnight…unless you’re the Clippers. https://t.co/YWXJxiBUr3— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) July 6, 2019
So that’s why the earth moved in Cali https://t.co/trUtkrMhyS— Liam Santamaria (@Liam_Santa) July 6, 2019
Leonard averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists during the 2018-19 regular season, before taking his game to a new level in the postseason to lead the Raptors to a championship and claiming Finals MVP honours in the process.
George averaged 28 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game with the Thunder over the 2018-19 season.