In an interview with Rachel Nichols, Kawhi revealed that he wants the Spurs to pursue Paul George for the Spurs; however, this did not materialize and PG became a Thunder.
Now, after two seasons, the two are teammates in the Los Angeles Clippers. Actually, Kawhi requested the Clippers’ front office to get Paul George from the thunder before he commits with the Clippers.
Most GMs and odd makers favored them to win the Western Conference and eventually become a champion. They are dubbed as the best duo assembled for these season, with Paul George having an MVP season in Oklahoma and Kawhi leading the Raptors to their first championship.
Moreover, back on July 2016, Spurs legend Tim Duncan retired. Of course, Kawhi Leonard was envisioned carrying the torch of the San Antonio Spurs legacy. He is a guy who can help the Spurs contend like Duncan. Obviously, Kawhi proved to be that guy.
Notably, before the ZaZa incident, Kawhi had an MVP season and making clutch shot after clutch shot. Coach Pop trusted him and gave a huge offensive role. They were the second seed in the West and were dominating the Warriors in Game One.
During the next season, he was out again because of a quad injury. As a matter of fact, Kawhi sat out until December. When he played, Pop managed the load of Kawhi every game.
Then, the trust issue became a deciding factor for the diagnosis of his injury. In the light of the analysis on his injury, Kawhi Leonard and his camp seek a second opinion. Kawhi just played 9 games during his last season with the Spurs. The last game was against the Denver Nuggets.
Further, had Kawhi Leonard stayed with the Spurs they can settle their unfinished business with the Western Conference and even with the healthy Warriors. There is no need of pursuing Paul George and make the Spurs cash strapped.
The San Antonio Spurs already have LaMarcus Aldridge, a dominant force inside and had an above average mid-range shot. Aldridge and Leonard are destined to be great. Leonard is the best two-way player of the league right now and Aldridge is an underrated All Star and is very good on craft.
Together with the Dejounte Murray and with the mixed of veterans like Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Patty Mills and the healthy Rudy Gay coming off the bench, the Spurs can win it. Not to mention Coach Pop on the sidelines.
Although, today’s NBA is the era of more spacing and three point shots big man’s still matters. Battling for rebounds and setting screens. They are still valuable more than we think; even they are limited on threes. A shot closer to the basket had the best chance to go in that a long distance shot.
Right now Kawhi looks like the winner with the trade. The hype that the media are fueling makes a lot of fans thinks Kawhi and Toronto won the trade. Lest we forget that the Spurs are coming sooner than many people think.