Leonard left many teams on their toes.
Kawhi Leonard was easily one of the most sought after free agents in the NBA this past summer and for good reason. He had just come off an incredible season with the Toronto Raptors where he brought the franchise its first-ever NBA Championship. Three teams were in pursuit of Leonard including the Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. In the end, Leonard chose the Clippers and broke the hearts of many fans in the process. Since his decision, there have been plenty of reports about the behind the scenes work of his infamous Uncle Dennis.
In a bombshell report from Sam Amick of The Athletic, it was revealed that Leonard's uncle made insane demands such as part ownership of a franchise, a private jet, and even a house. It was also noted that the Lakers were made to believe they had the best chance out of anyone to land Kawhi.
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Per Sam Amick:
"But a source with knowledge of the Lakers’ thinking said they maintained the pursuit, in part, because one of their players had been told that Leonard truly wanted to come. There was a fear that they would lose out on other free agents while playing the waiting game with Leonard, but this calculated risk was deemed to be worth it, even if the structure of their meeting with Leonard wasn’t what they’d hoped for."
If you're the Lakers, it's easy to be upset as Leonard now plays for your crosstown rival. It's not ideal but it definitely makes for some great motivation especially with a Christmas day matchup on the horizon.