After five days of following airplanes, tracking meetings and reckless speculation, Kawhi made his decision. As always it came in the form of a Woj bomb. Well, bombs. Plural, bombs.
Just when we think all permutations have been talked over a million times on all the Ringer pods, the Woj pod, The Jump, Get Up and all the other NBA outlets, we can say no-one saw this coming. Kawhi and Paul George are teaming up with the Clippers.
Kawhi will join the Clippers on a four-year $142 million max deal, and George will join via a monster trade with OKC. George is under contract for the next two seasons ($33 million in ’19/’20 and $35.5 million in ’20/’21) with a player option for ’21/’22.
The trade, as reported by Marc Stein, involves three unprotected Clippers first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026), two firsts from Miami (2021 unprotected and 2023 protected 1-to-14) AND the right to swap picks with the Clips in 2023 and 2025. They will also be sending Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari to OKC.
The Clippers were always the favorites for Kawhi, but it was always a question will they manage to land a second star to play with him. When free agency started, and all the stars went off the board in 30 minutes, rumors of the Lakers sneaking in and Toronto being in the lead started to pop up more and more.
As it turns out, Kawhi met with George in LA a few days ago and convinced him the two of them with the Clippers would work. George talked to OKC and requested a trade – the rest is history. The Clippers are now one of the favorites for the NBA title.
We will cover this trade extensively, cover what’s next for OKC, and compare the two LA teams, but one thing is sure – we have the biggest rivalry in the NBA.