MNO Sports >MMA Arena >Kawhi Leonard on Paul George leaving: 'We know what it was before the season' - NBC Sports

Kawhi Leonard on Paul George leaving: 'We know what it was before the season' - NBC Sports


New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 7: Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers look on during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on February 7, 2024 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

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LAS VEGAS — Kawhi Leonard and Paul George entered last season knowing where they both stood — the Clippers had to extend them or they would be unrestricted free agents. Leonard accepted a below-market three-year, $152 million contract, while George ultimately didn’t get the offer he wanted from Los Angeles and bolted for Philadelphia as a free agent.

That outcome didn’t surprise Leonard because he and George had been talking all season and knew how things might play out.

“I mean, we know what it was before the season, so we know what it was gonna come down to,” Leonard said during Team USA training camp in Las Vegas. “So we talked the whole way through, no surprise.”

Leonard and George thought it might play out this way? Interesting.

Leonard signed an extension mid-season for three years, $152 million. George said on his podcast this week that — after much negotiating — he would have signed the same deal the Clippers offered Leonard, but they also had to give him a no-trade clause. George said his logic was that if he was going to take a home-town discount, he wanted to be sure he was home. The Clippers wouldn’t give him the no-trade, which is understandable from the organization’s position, but it also tips their hand a little. George looked at all this and thought that four years, $212 million and the chance to play with Joel Embiid in Philly was better than what the Clippers would offer.

Leonard, at least, was not surprised by that.

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