The biggest decision in free agency came from Kawhi Leonard, who chose the Clippers this summer. After playing one season in Toronto, the reigning Finals MVP opted to play in California.
Everyone saw just how dominant Leonard can be on the hardwood this past season. His production in the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals was extremely impressive.
While every team would love to add Leonard to their roster, only the Raptors, Lakers and Clippers held meetings with him. It’s pretty evident that Jerry West and the Clippers put together the best recruiting pitch.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan had an interesting breakdown of player empowerment and how it affected this NBA offseason. In the feature, she revealed how Raptors head coach Nick Nurse found out that Leonard would sign with the Clippers.
Leonard sent Nurse a text message that said “I’m going home.”
The two young coaches, still immersed in their championship stupor, bumped fists, then crooned in unison, “I never want to cause you any sorrow … I never want to cause you any pain … I only wanted to see you laughing … in the purple rain.”
It was too loud to hear their phones as the song hit its crescendo, but both Nurse and Bjorkgren had their cells on vibrate. Instinctively, they reached for their pockets, as manufactured purple haze from the Vegas extravaganza swallowed them.
Nurse looked down. The text message simply read, “I’m going home.”
It’s not shocking to hear that Leonard kept his message to the point considering his quiet personality.
Although losing Leonard in free agency had to sting for the Raptors, they ultimately accomplished their goal of winning a title in their only season with him.
Now, it’s time to see how far Leonard can take the Clippers in the 2019-20 season.