Rebuilding is a chore for players, front offices and fans alike. Considering how close the Thunder once got to greatness, it will be especially rough to start over. Oklahoma City must start their rebuild by removing their cornerstone.
The Raptors had been pursuing Leonard since he led them to the title. So where does Kawhi's decision to sign with the Clippers leave the Raptors now?
Shifting Leonard to the Western Conference alters the balance of power once again. The East is relatively weak, or so it seems.
It was confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday morning that the Los Angeles Lakers have missed out on Kawhi Leonard. The NBA Finals MVP is heading to their Staples Center rivals, the Clippers, along with All-NBA wing Paul George.
The Los Angeles Clippers are acquiring All-NBA stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, as reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Kevin Durant has joined the Brooklyn Nets. Jimmy Butler is heading to the Miami Heat. Khris Middleton is staying with the Bucks. Al Horford is a Sixer. Tobias Harris is too. Plenty of other big free agents have signed.
From reports of incompetence within the Lakers organisation - which included Pelinka lying about an encounter between Kobe Bryant and Heath Ledger - to the obvious incompetence shown in the Lakers front office the past year. While it is true Pelinka secured All-Star Anthony Davis, it appeared that the bumbling GM got a bit too excited and executed the trade before July 1st.
As they rode off into the sunset the Warriors took stock of their losses, especially on their injury list. Klay Thompson tore his ACL in game 6, and the NBA’s pantomime villain Kevin Durant suffered a torn Achilles in game 5. A harsh sense of schadenfreude surrounded the Durant injury. After all, the prevailing opinion was that he had left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join a 73-9 superteam and ease to multiple titles.
Looking around Oracle Arena after the clinching Game 6 in this year’s NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard, with a fresh cap on his head and his teammates buzzing around him, took everything in. He held the Larry O’Brien trophy with the delicateness of a new born, and gushed over it adoringly.
The Philadelphia 76ers, like many NBA franchises, face great uncertainty this offseason. Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick and Tobias Harris are free agents, while Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the Sixers could get a free agent meeting with Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.