Kawhi Leonard would have signed with the Los Angeles Lakers had the Los Angeles Clippers been unable to secure their trade for Paul George, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
By trading an unprecedented package to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Clippers were effectively acquiring George and Leonard, while also blocking Leonard from going to the Lakers.
“Without George, they were losing Leonard to the Lakers,” writes Wojnarowski while citing sources.
The Clippers also held fears that Sam Presti was close to a trade with the Toronto Raptors involving George, which would have resulted in Leonard re-signing with the incumbent team.
The Raptors, however, didn’t have the ability to counter the Clippers’ offer for George.