This fact makes it even crazier to fathom that the Lakers had a legitimate shot to sign Kawhi Leonard as their third All-Star player.
Due to a blockbuster deal that sent Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, Leonard found himself signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, creating a second All-Star tandem in the city. However, there was a time when the Lakers were the frontrunner to land Leonard and the Clippers even felt that had they not made the deal for George, he would be wearing purple and gold right now.
“Deep down, I was hoping he didn’t go there. I was looking at the roster, I was looking at what they were putting together, and you want to be in a position to win championships and to make runs and looking at that roster, they would’ve been a serious problem. You got LeBron… already a problem, you got AD… a super problem, and you add him and it becomes a World War II-type situation. They got the grenades and the atomic bombs all in one and guys who can play both sides of the ball, so I was relieved. I was like, ‘Oh that’s good, at least he didn’t go to the Lakers.'”
It’s hard to believe that this wouldn’t have been the thought process of many players if Leonard had joined James and Davis. Those three would have formed a heavy championship favorite that arguably could have been the greatest trio in league history.
Luckily for the entirety of the league, Leonard and George went to the Clippers, ushering in an era of parity that the league has never seen before. For the 2019-20 NBA season, around seven teams will be in contention, with five of them coming from the Western Conference.
McCollum was right when he said that Leonard, James, and Davis together would’ve been a serious problem, but now it’s a problem that no one will have to deal with. In the post-Golden State Warriors era, this is a huge win for basketball as a whole.