On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers introduced Kawhi Leonard for the first time. With all the questions about his future coming to an end, the reigning Finals MVP shared an interesting detail about his decision-making in free agency.
Although the Clippers won the sweepstakes for Leonard, they were close to losing him to their in-state rival.
Leonard revealed in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he wasn’t always destined to head to the Clippers. Both the Lakers and Raptors had a legitimate shot at signing the best player on the market.
“I was very close (to picking the Lakers or Raptors),” Leonard told Rachel Nichols. “When they (the Clippers) presented the opportunity to play with Paul, it was an easy yes. I said let’s get it going.”
Clearly, the trade for Paul George sealed the deal for the Clippers to sign Leonard.
Here is the video from Leonard’s interview with Nichols:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 24, 2019
While Leonard’s decision to join the Clippers must sting for the Raptors, he did have kind words to share for his former team.
As for the Clippers, it’s pretty evident that they’re thrilled to have Leonard on their roster. After all, team owner Steve Ballmer couldn’t hold back his excitement during the press conference.