The NBA’s power dynamic shifted just after 2 a.m. on the East Coast.
Kawhi Leonard announced his decision to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers about a week after NBA free agency opened. Moments later, according to several media reports, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded six-time all-star swingman Paul George to the Clippers in exchange for a slew of draft picks, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari.
Leonard had been weighing his options long after last Sunday’s whirlwind of signings and trades. The day saw the 76ers agreeing to trade Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat in exchange for Josh Richardson, JJ Redick signing with the New Orleans Pelicans, as well as Al Horford agreeing to a four-year contract with the Sixers.
Leonard chose the Clippers over the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors. He led Toronto to the franchise’s first NBA championship, and also made the quadruple-bounce game-winner against the Sixers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Here are some of the best reactions to the late-night moves:
And then there’s the Sixers perspective, seeing as the team that stood in their way to a deeper playoff run has been significantly weakened: