Ramona Shelbourne reveals some explosive details from the wild 2019 NBA offseason, confirming rumors about Kawhi Leonard, Westbrook & PG-13.
Many people view the 2019 NBA offseason as the wildest we’ve seen yet. This free agency and trade window saw all 4 of the LA and New York teams create max salary slots. We’ll run you through a short overview of some of the biggest moves that year.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were signed by the Nets – some of the first confirmed free agency moves that year. The Celtics recouped the Irving hit by signing Kemba Walker to a 4-year max. But the major action of the window took place on the West Coast that year.
The Lakers ended up finishing the Anthony Davis trade, but they failed to land Kawhi Leonard, who signed with the LA Clippers. Leonard saw 3 suitors in the Lakers, the Raptors and the Clippers in his free agency.
Kawhi seemed set to return to LA, but it was a question of creating the better fit for himself. He reached out to many players across the league, trying to bring them with him to the Clippers. Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant were a few names he missed out on.
Kawhi Leonard reportedly snubbed Russell Westbrook to recruit Paul George in 2019
The Russell Westbrook and the Paul George trades were the 2 other big moves that rocked the West in 2019. However, many believe that the OKC stars’ trade destinations could have been inverted but for some fateful interventions.
According to Ramona Shelbourne, the Klaw was approached by Russell Westbrook after the latter made up his mind to leave OKC. However, Kawhi passed up Russ’ offer to instead recruit his teammate and another fellow LA native in Paul George:
“Westbrook had become a father of three the previous November, and while he’d made a home and carved a Hall of Fame legacy in Oklahoma City, the chance to live and play in LA, where grandparents and his large extended family and friends could visit every day, held deep appeal.”
“Teaming up with Leonard would be the fastest way there, so he placed the call, according to multiple sources. But Leonard didn’t just take the call as one native son of Los Angeles to another, ponder it and file it away. He used it.”
“According to multiple sources, Leonard then called Westbrook’s teammate in Oklahoma City, Paul George, and told him he’d rather team up with him on a homecoming.”
Report: Russell Westbrook called Kawhi Leonard in 2019 to team up in L.A.; Kawhi called Paul George to team up with him instead https://t.co/MAiuc9B0ZN
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 2, 2021