KAWHI LEONARD IS A BASKETBALL MASTERMIND | NBA FREE AGENCY 2019




Thoughts?

Uhurm.

So the three teams that battled for the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes all had one mission.

Whoever wins Paul George, wins the Finals MVP.

But here’s the thing. We never thought about Paul George. Media outlets reported of where Kawhi Leonard is going but they never thought about the terms. Skip Bayless is notorious of thinking that Leonard is messing up his future by signing late… among other things.  

However, these three teams are in it to win it.

I mean somewhat.




The Los Angeles Lakers clearly looked like the bronze medal winner in the sweepstakes but for a time, they were seen as the leader. Leonard saw the Lakers as his childhood dream and the team just unloaded most of their players to secure Lebron James’ pal Anthony Davis.

But a Paul George destination they are not. They have no more picks to bring out and Kyle Kuzma’s contract is too low to compensate for Paul George’s contract. Also, Leonard never really saw himself playing for a super team. I also think Magic Johnson announcing his role in the media made Kawhi sour on the Lake Show. With how Leonard secretly laid out his plans… in hindsight, Magic's statement messed up the situation.

Everyone thought Leonard would become the Miami version of Chris Bosh or the Cleveland version of Kevin Love in LeBron's Lakers. 

Well, Leonard isn't playing second fiddle to no one... at least with the exception of PG-13.  

As for Toronto, they have to stay loyal to their players. Because of the fact that they are in another country with freezing temperatures and well… let me again stress the fact that they are in another country, they just can’t go and get a superstar with little to no intentions of enjoying the city’s perks and un-perks. Kyle Lowry is a journeyman prior to Toronto. Marc Gasol remained loyal to the Memphis Grizzlies up until 2019. Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet are NBA G-League call ups alongside former Raptors Jakob Poethl, Delon Wright, and Bruno Caboclo. The Raptors also traded long-time player DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio for Leonard. Toronto has to stay loyal to their core because this is going to be their calling card.

This is why they were restricted in pushing for Paul George (OKC had George and Russell Westbrook for a core of players highlighted by Siakam) and this is why they lost in the Kawhi sweepstakes.

And this is why I think they will survive life without Kawhi. They may not have it now, but they use the G-League well. Also, they just opened up a free agency situation.

Westbrook? 

So the Clippers obviously won. But they had to scramble for assets though. Doc Rivers was part of the Boston Celtics trade that sent the Brooklyn Nets to the pits up until last season. I know they have the money and they also have Jerry West but they are on the verge of losing it all if this risk doesn’t pay off. Oklahoma City meanwhile, gained a lot from losing George. Like in the Boston situation, OKC potentially gained a Jaylen Brown and a Jayson Tatum with or without the existing presence of Russell Westbrook.

I do however think OKC shot their selves in the foot by letting George out of his contract. What is the sense of having team and player options these days? Also, how can you sell the idea of trading Westbrook if he is seen in this light? Kevin Durant left him high and dry probably because of his playing style and with the departure of George, how will media see Westbrook as a teammate?

I am glad Stephen A. Smith tried to make Westbrook a fall guy but at the moment, it did more harm than good.

The Lakers may have lost Leonard but they gained a couple of players like DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, and Troy Daniels and have re-signed Rajon Rondo. Rondo is a solid choice because of the former all-star's ties with Cousins and Davis. It’s like New Orleans and the LA Lakers traded places. I think they overpaid for Green though. The Golden Warriors acquired Willie Cauley-Stein at a decent price which the Lakers doubled on Green. Also, I thought they inadvertently fuelled Leonard’s desire to keep his friend by his side. These two will still find a way to bond with each other since the Clips and the Lake Show are in the same city.

Maybe they can share injury dates?

And here’s the best part of this situation: Bayless gave credit to what Kawhi did. I know Bayless has been on the case of “Number 2” ever since his bittersweet departure from San Antonio but hey, he was the one that said Leonard fits the Clippers from the get-go. Finally, Leonard and George – two former mid-round NBA Draft finds – are playing in their home area without Lebron James messing up their gameplay. In some ways, he also kind of crippled the Lakers… especially with how the Lakers obtained Green (although it was their undoing).  

Holy crap… the Lakers got QUINN COOK!?!

Dammit Golden State, what is up with this soft reset?

The mere fact he mentioned Leonard’s surname in his tweet meant Bayless acknowledged the boss move.

The fact of the matter is, Kawhi should because that move sent shockwaves to the NBA that a player can have the power to recruit a player behind the media postings and brouhahas.

At the moment, we have yet to see guys like Kelly Oubre, Jabari Parker, and a couple of potentials still in free agent limbo. I hope Jabari and well, Michael Beasley find homes. From a fantasy basketball standpoint, Beasley is a good player regardless of minutes and breaks.

Maybe Toronto could get one of those pieces to their confines.

NBA Free Agency 2019 is utter chaos in epic proportions.

I wonder how this would turn out.

END




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