Clippers owner Steve Ballmer calls Paul George trade a ‘gulp’ deal
The Los Angeles Clippers had the biggest offseason of any team, and probably the biggest in franchise history. The Clippers signed free agent Kawhi Leonard, fresh off a championship season in Toronto, and traded for an MVP candidate in Paul George. The move immediately made the Clippers a favorite to win the 2019-2020 NBA title. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer described the blockbuster deal for George, which included giving up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and a whopping five first-round picks (via Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times):
“The deal we made for Paul George? That’s a kind of ‘gulp’ deal,” Ballmer said. “‘Are we in on this thing? People say, do owners make decisions? Well everybody’s got to be lined up on a decision like that. I’m super happy with where we are.”
Obviously, any team would be happy with landing just George, who is one of the best two-way players in the league. But the George trade was even more essential to the Clippers, as it ensured the arrival of Leonard.
George and Leonard mark the best duo to ever wear a Clippers uniform together. A few years ago, the Clippers teamed Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but they did not dominate on both ends like George and Leonard can.
Because of the high-profile acquisitions, expectations are sky-high for the Clippers. They have their eyes on the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and the roster that has been assembled gives them a good shot at it.