The Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes ended much like how it began: in controversy.
After forcing his way out of San Antonio for reasons that are still a bit murky, Kawhi landed in Toronto, where he helped earn the Raptors their first NBA Championship in franchise history.
When he finally became a free agent in July, he kept the world in the dark about hid decision for days on end. By the end of the week, Kawhi was a Clipper — but it came with a few caveats. From the outside looking in, it almost appears as if Kawhi played the Raptors and Lakers, waiting until other stars were off the board while he made “unreasonable” requests of the franchises.
In fact, according to ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, the demands by him and his camp were so bad, they allegedly violated CBA rules.
The list of requests, according to Smith, includes houses, planes, sponsorship money — all of which are illegal in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. Smith warns that this story is going to be used to not only question Kawhi’s intentions this summer but also what the Clippers may have given up to get Kawhi. Did they break some rules to secure the 2x Finals MVP?
At this point, it seems unlikely. The Clippers were always rumored to be Leonard’s favorite location, and it likely took much less convincing to get him to the franchise.
The 3x All-Star will be joining Paul George in a bid to earn the team their first ever Championship in franchise history.