Kawhi Leonard was probably the most significant free agent this summer, and the Clippers were the ones who ended up winning the deal. There was a lot of drama surrounding the next team he will play for, and a lot of the storyline was somewhat negative towards Kawhi. He left the Spurs because of the influence of his uncle, who is also his advisor. This summer, he was personally involved in negotiating the terms with other teams and asked for some ridiculous things from the Lakers organization.
In a story done by Sam Amick from The Athletic, it appears Kawhi’s uncle Dennis Robertson who has a significant influence in his career, was making improper requests to teams interested in Kawhi’s services. One of the most significant claims from Robertson was the partial ownership of the franchise, which didn’t sit well with the Buss family.
“Sources say the league was told that Robertson asked team officials for part ownership of the team, a private plane that would be available at all times, a house and — last but certainly not least — a guaranteed amount of off-court endorsement money that they could expect if Leonard played for their team. A source with knowledge of the Kawhi-Lakers talks said Robertson made those requests repeatedly to owner Jeanie Buss over the course of three phone calls that spanned several days, and that she made it clear that such perks were illegal and would not be considered.”
It seems Robertson didn’t stop there but also requested something similar from the Toronto Raptors and used that as leverage with the Clippers.
“Those uncomfortable discussions with Robertson, along with Buss’ growing sense at the time that the Lakers were being used as leverage to help Leonard get what he wanted out of the Clippers, are at the heart of the frustration that remains to this day. What’s more, sources said that Robertson made similar requests of the Raptors.”
The NBA was aware such claims were possibly made, so they ran an investigation to see if teams offered ‘improper inducements’ to free agents. According to Amick, the Clippers were also a part of this investigation, but they couldn’t find any real proof for any misconduct.