NBA News Roundup, Sunday, September 22nd: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George discussed Clippers move ahead of free agency, Alex Abrines praises Russell Westbrook and more
The 2019-20 NBA season is quickly approaching, and the new campaign is gearing up to be among the most competitive in recent memory. The Golden State Warriors' recent dominance appears to have come to an end following the departure of Kevin Durant, and the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz will all be confident of competing for this season's title.
Much of the major offseason moves were completed during the opening weeks of free agency, although a big name such as Kevin Love or Steven Adams could still be on the move ahead of the new campaign. So, with the potential for plenty to happen, here is all the latest NBA news and rumors you need to know for September 22nd.
#1 Kawhi Leonard and Paul George discussed a move to the Clippers ahead of free agency
The Los Angeles Clippers entered the offseason with the hope of landing two All-Stars and the organization was able to pull off huge deals to sign Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard was available as a free agent, although PG13 was still signed to a three-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst revealed on his podcast that Leonard and George were engaged in talks prior to free agency opening - with George eventually requesting a trade to the Clippers:
“The idea that Kawhi Leonard first introduced the idea of trading for Paul George in his meeting with the Clippers, from a list, we know that days before free agency started, well days before, Kawhi and Paul George were talking.
"Paul George’s agent went to Oklahoma City prior to the start of free agency and said Paul would like to be traded to the Clippers. He wants to play with Kawhi. But, at that point, Kawhi wasn’t allowed to be talking with the Clippers. They couldn’t officially have contact with him until after June 30, 6 p.m.
The NBA is currently in the process of introducing harsher new anti-tampering rules, although Windhorst's insight into the George-Leonard situation highlights the difficult task that the NBA faces. Nevertheless, the All-Star duo will now form a potentially lethal partnership in Los Angeles as the Clippers begin the new season as favorites.