6:27 PM ET
As Danny Green — perhaps Kawhi Leonard‘s closest teammate, having paired with him to win championships in both San Antonio and Toronto — waited on Leonard’s decision last week, he was left in the dark just like the rest of the world.
Except he was pretty sure of one thing: Leonard would not be joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I think all of it was a shock to me,” Green said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “Except not as much of a shock Kawhi going to L.A. The Clippers, anyway. I didn’t see him coming this route [to the Lakers].
“I feel like he wanted to go his own route. I think it was between them and going back. I think the year that he had and what those fans brought this season and everything it was hard for him to turn it down and leave Toronto. But I knew he wanted to be closer to home.”
Leonard, a native of Riverside, California, orchestrated the Paul George trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Clippers behind the scenes, spurning the Lakers — who had $32 million in cap space on hold