Paul George Clippers Trade Confirmed After Kawhi Leonard Contract Announcement

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 10, 2019

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 121-112. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers officially have their superstar duo in place for the 2019-20 season. 

The team announced Wednesday it acquired Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and the Clippers' first-round draft picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, two first-round choices via Miami in 2021 and 2023, and the right to swap first-round picks in 2023 and 2025. 

George's acquisition was announced after Kawhi Leonard signed his contract with the Clippers. 

Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank included a statement about George's impact on the franchise:

"Paul George is one of the greatest two-way players in our game. He is both an elite scorer and a relentless defender whose versatility elevates any team. When you have the opportunity to acquire a contributor of his caliber, you do what it takes to bring him home. Paul is a native of the Los Angeles area and an ideal fit for the Clippers, thanks to his selflessness and drive. Following the lead of Steve Ballmer, we have plotted an aggressive course to build a championship contender, and acquiring Paul is a critical step."

Leonard tied his future to George's by signing a deal worth $103 million over three years, including a player option for the third year, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Both players will be eligible for free agency again after the 2020-21 season if they don't exercise their options. 

The Clippers seem set up to be one of the NBA's best teams over the next few years. Leonard just won NBA Finals MVP for the second time after he led the Toronto Raptors to a title. George finished third in 2018-19 NBA MVP voting after he averaged a career-high 28.0 points and 8.2 rebounds per game for the Thunder. 

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Since the franchise's inaugural season in 1970-71 as the Buffalo Braves, it has never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. In 35 seasons since moving to Los Angeles, the Clippers have won four playoff series. 


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