Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard Almost Joined Lakers? Analyst Reveals What Happened

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Kawhi Leonard will look to win back to back championships with the Los Angeles Clippers this coming NBA season.

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Teamed up with Paul George, Leonard is looking to make things happen in the city that he was born in; Los Angeles.

Since last NBA season, many believed that Leonard would join the Clippers.

“I mean if he leaves, my expectation is simply that’s where he’d go,” Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

“He’s looking at these bombers and he’s looking at a team that from the get go will be built around him and he’s going to be where he wants to be and he’s going to be the centerpiece as much as Toronto has catered to him, it’s a little bit, again, it’s like the uniqueness of LeBron going to Dwyane Wade and joining Dwyane Wade in Miami.”

Leonard signed a three-year, $104 million contract with the Clippers rather than joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers or staying in Toronto with the Raptors.

Leonard ultimately signed with the Clippers after Paul George forced his way out of Oklahoma City with the Thunder. That ultimately snowballed into Russell Westbrook forcing a trade as well. He’s now a member of the Houston Rockets.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, one’s gotta wonder: How serious was Kawhi Leonard about joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 05: NBA players LeBron James (L) and Anthony Davis talk as they watch a game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the New York Knicks during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

I checked in with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Haynes shared his thought on Kawhi and PG 13 in a portion of our Q&A below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Help me understand something: Kawhi Leonard over the summer met with the Raptors, he had conversation with the Lakers and he ultimately joined the Clippers. Is there a chance in Heaven that he would actually join the Lakers?

Chris Haynes: I think that was his second option. I don’t think he was going back to Toronto. I definitely saw him winning a championship there, I think that freed him up more to pick the destination that he wanted. I actually broke the story when he got traded to Toronto, ad I ended up finding out he had no desire to be there. Raptor fans didn’t like me for that, but I was stating the truth and a fact. And I think him winning was a sense of release, because he felt as if he didn’t owe anything. He doesn’t like the cold weather, I reported that a year ago when the trade was going down. He wanted to be back homes nidi actually got the change to interview him during his press conference. He gave me one-on-one video time, and we talked about how it was killing him to only go home in the summer time and watch his nieces, nephews and cousins growing out the blue. He said he was missing all of that, and that’s why I think Lakers were his second option. I don’t think he was going back to Toronto at all.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers begin training camp this month. The NBA’s regular season begins next month.

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