The Los Angeles Clippers clearly pulled the right strings in their free agency courtship of Kawhi Leonard, highlighted, of course, by acquiring Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder to give the reigning NBA Finals MVP a superstar to play alongside.

A deal didn’t always seem like a slam dunk, though, as there was ample speculation that Leonard either would return to the Toronto Raptors or link up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

So, what happened — other than the Clippers landing George? Well, it sounds like Leonard’s personality and aspirations synced perfectly with the Clippers’ short- and long-term vision, and a meeting with the organization’s primary influencers likely played a role in the 28-year-old’s final decision.


The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick detailed Leonard’s free agency in an in-depth piece published Tuesday. Among the topics addressed was a three-hour meeting Leonard’s camp had at Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ home in Malibu four days before the team landed the three-time All-Star and George in an offseason coup for the ages.