Report: Kawhi Leonard reached out to Kevin Durant first to see if he would join him

Omar Guerrero
2 Min Read

In the aftermath of Kawhi Leonard’s earth-shaking announcement that he was signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers were left with no choice but to fill out the roster with other free agents.

Ultimately, it became painfully clear to everyone involved that he was more interested in creating his own superteam than joining one with the Lakers. That was made obvious with a report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne who said that Leonard reached out to Kevin Durant first before Paul George entered the picture.

According to the report, Durant was both “stunned” and “flattered” to receive a call from Leonard, but he declined and decided to push through with his plans to play with Kyrie Irving in a Brooklyn Nets uniform. In other words, George was Leonard’s second option.

This maneuvering from Leonard flies in the face of LeBron James and his agent Rich Paul, who created this type of player empowerment. Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger reported that an anonymous prominent agent had this to say:

“Rich and LeBron are used to getting their way. They leveraged, leveraged, leveraged and got AD. If they had gotten Kawhi, that’s a superteam; maybe the greatest team ever. And in the end, they got screwed in the most significant way possible.

“They got screwed in a way they never imagined.”

Apparently, having James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers wasn’t enticing enough for the two-time Finals MVP to wear the Purple and Gold since creating a star tandem from scratch was his primary goal. However, had the Clippers failed in their bid to land George via a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, there would have been a chance that Leonard would’ve ended up with the Lakers.

Share This Article
Omar is a former writer for King James Gospel. The very first team he rooted for was the Showtime Lakers and his favorite player back then was James Worthy. Seeing the Purple and Gold win back-to-back championships in the '80s made him a basketball junkie for life. He has witnessed and celebrated every Lakers championship since then and is now looking forward to a new era of basketball in Tinseltown led by LeBron James.