Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder

Clippers make second big move, acquire Paul George from the Thunder

If signing Kawhi Leonard isn’t enough, the Los Angeles Clippers are also set to acquire Paul George.

The Los Angeles Clippers are already coming out nicely this offseason, with Kawhi Leonard choosing them. But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers are also set to acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In the deal, according to Wojnarowski, the Clippers will send guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and five future first-round picks to the Thunder. Four of those picks are unprotected, one is protected and there will be two pick swaps as well.

George has spent the last two seasons with the Thunder, earning All-NBA First Team and All-NBA Defensive First Team honors last season. He signed a max contract to stay in Oklahoma City last offseason, on the notion he’d form a top-end duo with Russell Westbrook. But the idea of teaming up with Leonard led to a trade demand as this week went on, and the Thunder were forced to do something or deal with what was sure to be an unhappy star. George is a Los Angeles area native himself, like Leonard, so it’s a homecoming for him too.

According to Wojnarowski, Leonard pushed George to team up with the Clippers, the two met this week and Leonard told the team if they could get a trade done he was coming.

Gilgeous-Alexander is a promising young guard and he was surely hard to give up, but Gallinari is mostly a salary offset to make the trade for George work. If things go as planned for the Clippers over the next few years, the haul of first-round picks they’re giving up won’t be noteworthy.

Next: The Step Back’s 2019 NBA Free Agency Tracker

At different points in time over the last couple years, the Los Angeles Lakers were firmly in play for George and Leonard. The Clippers getting either one would be huge, but they’ve managed to add two of the 5-10 best players in the NBA on one big night and also fuel a cross-town rivalry in a way that hasn’t been seen.

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