- The Los Angeles Clippers added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George late Friday
- BetOnline immediately made the Clippers the +275 favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA Championship
- The Clippers have never played in an NBA Finals
Did the Los Angeles Clippers move heaven and earth to get Kawhi Leonard’s name on a contract?
Friday night, there was an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale that shook Los Angeles. A few hours later, the Clippers traded to get Paul George from the Oklahom City Thunder and signed Leonard, the most coveted NBA free agent.
There was also a seismic shift in the 2019-20 NBA Championship odds. BetOnline established the Clippers as the +275 chalk to win the NBA Finals next season.
2020 NBA Champioship Odds
|Team||2020 NBA Championship Odds at BetOnline|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+275|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+350|
|Golden State Warriors||+1400|
*Odds taken July 6. Follow link for a complete list of all teams.
The average odds on the Clippers winning the title was +1300 as recently as July 1.
One And Done
The Toronto Raptors had never reached the NBA Finals until they dealt for Leonard. Not only did the Raps win the title this season, Leonard walked off with his second NBA Finals MVP award, to go with the won he’d earned in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs.
Toronto knew as a free agent in 2019, Leonard might be a one-and-done Raptor, and that’s proven to be the case. Upon his departure, the Raptors’ odds of repeating as NBA champions jumped from +700 to +1600.
Today would be a really bad day for some NHL team to offer sheet Maple Leafs restricted free agent forward Mitch Marner.
Toronto would be devastated.
By George, They Got Kawhi
In the Kawhi craziness, the role that the George acquisition played in this outcome shouldn’t be forgotten. Basically, Leonard told the Clippers that if they got George, they’d also get him.
In a span of a few hours, the Clippers added to their roster the reigning NBA Finals MVP and a player who was a 2018-19 finalist for both regular-season MVP and NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
After Leonard pushed George to find a way to get to the Clippers, Paul George approached the team and requested a trade, league sources tell ESPN. OKC was left with no choice and made the best out of a difficult situation, per sources.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Last season, George, 29, posted career-high averages of 28 points and 8.2 rebounds. He snared a league-leading 2.2 steals. George matched a career best by averaging 4.1 assists.
Have The Clippers Finally Arrived?
For years, the Clippers were the laughingstock of the NBA. Like the Raptors, who always served as understudy to the Maple Leafs at the Scotiabank Centre, the Clippers were the other basketball tenant at the Staples Center.
The Lakers were the team. But just as Leonard made the Raptors the story in Toronto, he’s about to push LeBron and Anthony Davis off the front page.
That earthquake you felt in Los Angeles last night was Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joining the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/5nlNufIk6y
— Stadium (@Stadium) July 6, 2019
The Clippers are for real. Until Toronto, they gave Golden State the toughest go of the 2019 playoffs. Now they’ve added two NBA all-stars to their group.
Leonard carried a Raptors team to their first NBA Finals and first title. Who’s going to bet against him doing the same for the Clippers?
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