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Western Conference front office member didn’t know Kawhi Leonard ‘could be this savvy’

Clippers, Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard was able to convince Paul George to request a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Los Angeles Clippers, and people around the NBA were shocked by it.

Leonard is arguably the quietest superstar in NBA history. It’s why one Western Conference front office member was surprised to see just how “savvy” the two-time Finals MVP is behind the scenes.

Via Wosny Lambre of The Athletic:

So much of the chatter coming out of summer league centered around a sort of dumbfounded-ness that Kawhi Leonard could operate as such a shrewd negotiator. One Western Conference front office person who spoke with The Athletic expressed astonishment at Leonard’s keen sense of his own leverage saying “It’s not that I thought the guy was a sucker, I just didn’t KNOW that he could be this savvy.”

For the first time in franchise history, the Clippers are title contenders with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the team. LAC re-signed Patrick Beverley and still has Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Landry Shamet. The Clippers won 48 games last season without a single All-Star on the roster. Now, they have two of the best players in the NBA and a great supporting cast.

Leonard signed a three-year, $103.14 million deal with the Clippers. George signed a four-year, $136.9 million contract with the Thunder last summer. The two superstars are eager to lead the Clippers to their first-ever championship next season.