New Report: Kawhi Leonard Turned Down Russell Westbrook for Clippers Team-Up in 2019

Who says the NBA isn't a soap opera? A new report by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne says that Russell Westbrook called Kawhi Leonard during 2019 free agency and asked him to team up with him on the Los Angeles Clippers. Kawhi instead picked up the phone and called Westbrook's then-Oklahoma City teammate Paul George and told him he'd rather have him join him in L.A.

The report says that Westbrook always longed to come home to Los Angeles and play in front of his extended family and friends, but it took two years and three trades—to Houston, then to Washington, and now finally to the LA Lakers—to finally make it happen. 

"His longtime agent Thad Foucher helped guide him through each of those massive trades," writes Shelburne, "which seemed independent of each other until you consider the previously unknown prologue between Leonard and Westbrook, which began the entire chain of events and now looms as a delicious subplot to all future Lakers-Clippers games."

It might have to wait until the 2022 playoffs or later, as Leonard recovers from ACL surgery, but, as Shelburne notes, that next Kawhi-Russ encounter on the floor at Staples Center will be a fun one. 

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