Leonard's main options were between the Clippers, Lakers, and staying with the Toronto Raptors, and there were different factors that went in to Leonard's choice. There were rumors that he liked Toronto more than expected while winning a title and wanted back, and another rumor that he wanted to team with Kevin Durant. In the end, according to reports, he wanted to play with George, as sources called Leonard "one helluva recruiter," as he quietly got George to ask for a trade from the Thunder (insert Russell Westbrook trash talk here).
Now despite this big trade, George could miss the first few weeks of the season while recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. That still sets up a star-studded showdown with George and Leonard battling LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Lakers. The Lakers were hoping to set up a big three with the two-time Defensive Player of the Year Leonard, and were even willing to hold off the Davis trade to make sure they had enough cap room.
The Clippers were always a threat to get Leonard since early last season when everyone knew the cap room they were going to have. The two-time Finals MVP is coming off his best season yet, where he averaged 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds, shooting 49 percent from the floor on the season. Those numbers just surpassed him putting up 25 points per game when he won the NBA Title with the Spurs.
George just couldn't find the success that was expected, despite the six-time All-Star teaming with Westbrook, and at one point, Carmelo Anthony. He was still in the MVP conversation last season, posting 28 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game, by far his best season as a pro. He has been prone to injuries over the past few years, including fracturing his leg while with the Indiana Pacers, so that is the one risk the Clippers were willing to take while bringing him in. Needless to say, with this turn of events, the 2019-2020 basketball season is sure to be an exciting and interesting one, especially in the Western Conference.