My mouth is still open. The back-to-back Woj bombs that were dropped on us early in the AM have rocked East Coast NBA Twitter, and I cannot wait to see what happens when all of West Coast NBA Twitter wakes up. The implications of these two moves are monumental. Worst part about all of this?
I decided to go to bed at 1:30 AM.
The first thing that jumps off the page from Kawhi’s decision is the fact he chose the Clippers. The All-Star small forward, fresh off of winning the Finals and Finals’ MVP, decided to go to the “little brother” of LA. Kawhi has officially signed a 4 year, $142 million dollar max contract with the team. This signing, apparently, came off the heels of the Clippers being able to acquire a second star player, and it is the player that Kawhi had been recruiting the entire free agency: Paul George.
Much to my chagrin, every single “analyst” and “reporter” from a major news outlet that had “sources and inside information detailing where Kawhi was going” was lying through their teeth. And I absolutely love it. The moment FA started, Kawhi has spent every day recruiting PG to come to LA and have PG join him on the Clippers. He never was considering the Raptors. He 100% was not considering the Lakers. Kawhi was able to play those teams in order to keep his true destination a mystery, and provide them the cover needed in order to acquire Paul George under the radar.
What did it cost the Clippers to acquire the the DPotY and MVP candidate? Well, to quote 21 Savage, “A lot”…
Thunder Receive: three, unprotected, first-round picks (Clippers own – 2022, 2024, and 2026); two additional first-round picks via Miami (2021 unprotected and 2023 lottery protected); rights to swap Clippers’ 2023 and 2025 first round picks; SF/PF Danilo Gallinari (3 yr/$64.8 million); PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2 yr/$7.3 million + 1 yr/$5.5 million team option)
Clippers Receive: SF/PF Paul George (3 yr/$106.3 million)
SEVEN FIRST ROUND PICKS?!?!?!?! SGA?!?!?!!?
Yes, I can see how many Clips fans and other fans around the NBA may be sitting there, like I did, and say that this deal is bankrupting level. And you’d be right in saying so looking it at surface level. Mortgaging your future is a tough thing to sell to a franchise, especially when you give up your possible point guard of the future. However, viewing this only as a trade for PG13 is short-sighted. Kawhi insisted that the Clippers acquire PG, and with that acquisition he said he would come. Trading seven first round picks, SGA, and an aging/hurt matching contract in Danilo got them two All-Stars. Many GMs would make a trade to acquire two DPotY/MVP caliber players in a heartbeat, and I would have too. I mean, think about what Kawhi meant to the Raptors and PG to the Thunder. Here is a graphic to demonstrate it somewhat…
Having two guys that are capable of taking (and making) a last second shot is great. Adding them to a team that already has “Sweet” Lou Williams? Sounds unstoppable on the offensive end of floor. Sure, losing SGA will hurt since this means that Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet are now the real point guard-ish players on the team. Doesn’t matter though, since a Beverley-Shamet-Leonard-George-Zubac lineup will destroy teams defensively.
Of course, I cannot forget to mention the fact that Pacers drafted both of these guys in back to back years, and then promptly traded both away. RIP the Pacers possible dynasty…
…but at least the Lakers are still the worst team in LA.