The Toronto Raptors on Saturday extended their appreciation to Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green for helping lead them to their first National Basketball Association championship, hours after the two departed for rival teams in Los Angeles as free agents. Leonard was also pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers and, of course, the Raptors. The Clippers sent Italian Danilo Gallinari, 20-year-old Canadian guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and several draft picks sent to the Thunder.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard spent time recruiting George to join him in LA, despite George signing a four-year contract extension with the Thunder just last season.
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Star now has two Finals MVP awards under his belt after Toronto topped the Golden State Warriors in six games.
But it just makes sense to go ahead and "tank" by rebuilding through lottery picks and all of the first-round picks the Thunder just acquired from the Clippers.
"Obviously, we have the best player in the league and the best player in these playoffs in Kawhi Leonard", Raptors forward Pascal Siakam said after Toronto won the title.
Zion Williamson Left His First Summer League Game With A Knee Injury
Interestingly enough, this game will be against the New York Knicks who have Williamson's Duke teammate, RJ Barrett . Zion Williamson scored 11 points in nine first-half minutes in his summer league debut against the New York Knicks .
Danny Green announced via his podcast's twitter page that he has agreed to a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. But usually you end up wishing you did, as the unhappy superstar and corresponding chaos these situations create thwart any chance at team building.
And if that news wasn't insane enough, the Clippers took things to a whole new level by announcing their plans to acquire Paul George in a trade as well from the Oklahoma City Thunder, making Los Angeles a serious contender in the Western Conference all of a sudden.
If DeRozan and Poeltl take steps forward in year two with the Spurs and Keldon Johnson becomes a key contributor during his career, San Antonio will come out of this trade looking much better than most people thought a year ago. But unlike most of the other big-name free agents, Leonard wasn't tied to any team within the first 24 hours of the negotiation period.
He averaged 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists for the Thunder last season. Atlanta's Hunter, New Orleans' Alexander-Walker and Hayes and Washington's Wagner, Bonga and Jones can not play in the Las Vegas Summer League until the Davis trade is made official.