The LA Lakers Reportedly Feel That They ‘Got Played’ By Kawhi Leonard During Free Agency
Earlier this month Kawhi Leonard shocked the NBA world when he convinced Paul George to request a trade out of OKC to the Clippers and was able to team up with PG in L.A.
Despite reports that Kawhi was going to sign with the Lakers it was later revealed that he had envisioned playing with the Clippers since during the playoffs.
Via The Toronto Star
During the playoffs, and even the Finals, sources indicate Kawhi and his adviser and uncle Dennis Robertson were focused on the Clippers, even as Toronto’s championship run unfolded. During the playoffs Robertson was overheard more than once in the post-game back-hall melees talking about leaving; even after Game 4 in Philadelphia, where Kawhi made the first of two shots in the series to save the season, and during the Finals. The Clippers planned to pair Kawhi with 76ers wing and Kawhi’s friend Jimmy Butler, and the Kawhi camp gauged Butler’s interest repeatedly. Sources indicate they were in contact even after the NBA Finals.
We also learned that Kawhi never seriously considered joining the Lakers because he didn’t want to be in a super team with LeBron.
Yes, the Lakers made noise early in the week after striking out on Butler themselves. LeBron James reportedly offered to defer to Kawhi, with Anthony Davis as the third MVP-level player in the trio. But Kawhi was said to be concerned about the dysfunction in the organization, and two sources say Kawhi did not want to play on a super team with LeBron. The Lakers were also the only team who leaked anything during the process, which more than anything indicated they had no idea who they were really dealing with.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst both the Lakers and the Raptors are now complaining about how Kawhi played them during free agency.
’ve heard complaints in the days after the signing. I heard complaints from the Lakers that they got played. I heard complaints from the Raptors that Kawhi came in and asked for the sun, the moon, the stars then left them at the altar
Kawhi played everyone like a fiddle and ended up going to the team he always wanted to go to.