Kawhi Leonard shocked the NBA in free agency when he decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers over returning to the Toronto Raptors where he just won a championship and the Los Angeles Lakers where he could have formed a Big 3 with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
What was even more shocking was that in order for the Clippers to lure Leonard to their team, they completed a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for Paul George after Leonard recruited him.
The Lakers put all their eggs in the Leonard basket, so they wound up not being able to sign a majority of the big-name free agents while they waited for him to make his decision.
One player who also waited for Leonard was his former teammate, Danny Green, who wound up signing a two-year, $30 million deal with the Lakers since they had money to spend when they struck out on him.
Speaking to the Los Angeles media for the first time since signing his deal, Green admitted that he didn’t think Leonard was going to sign with the Lakers.
“I think all of it was a shock to me. Except not as much of a shock Kawhi going to L.A. The Clippers, anyway. I didn’t see him coming this route,” Green said.
“I feel like he wanted to go his own route. I think it was between them and going back. I think the year that he had and what those fans brought this season and everything it was hard for him to turn it down and leave Toronto. But I knew he wanted to be closer to home.”
Green also added that like everyone else, he did not see the George trade coming.
“The Paul George thing was a total shock. I had brief conversations with them after it, they think they got lucky with it.”
With Leonard and George on the Clippers and Green joining James and Davis on the Lakers, the Western Conference might now run through the city of Los Angeles for years to come, which should make for a fun rivalry.
Unlike Leonard, Green cited the presence of James and Davis on the Lakers as the main reason he chose to sign with them.