In the wee hours of the morning on July 10, a blockbuster trade went down. Paul George was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, hours, or possibly moments earlier, Kawhi Leonard revealed that he would be in on signing with the Clippers if they could acquire PG in a trade.
The trade completely blindsided the NBA, its players, fans, coaches, media, and everyone involved.
But perhaps, it shouldn’t have.
It turns out, when PG was a member of the Indiana Pacers and was requesting a trade from there, he was really pushing to go to the San Antonio Spurs to team up with Kawhi Leonard. Ultimately, this ended up not happening and instead George was shipped to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But George has admitted to ESPN
“I wanted to be traded to San Antonio. We wanted to go to San Antonio first, and we didn’t make that happen.”
The reason the trade didn’t work is because the Spurs didn’t have the assets that the Pacers were interested in.
Then of course, a season later Kawhi Leonard was shipped to the Toronto Raptors and the rest is history.
The Clippers, while not having Leonard and George yet play together, are off to a 9-5 star and currently look pretty good despite missing at least one star in every game. But this team is going to hang their hat on defense and once they get Leonard and George on the floor together, that’s when they’re really going to lock in and make it incredibly difficult for teams to score the basketball.