Report: Kawhi opted for George over Westbrook for Clippers homecoming

Juan Ocampo / National Basketball Association / Getty

The homecoming for Los Angeles Lakers newcomer Russell Westbrook could've come two years sooner had it not been for a phone call made by Kawhi Leonard.

In the summer of 2019, following Westbrook's 11th season with the Oklahoma City Thunder and after he'd recently become a father of three, the Long Beach, California, native attempted to facilitate a move to L.A. to live and play closer to his extended family, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

In order to do so, Westbrook rang Leonard to team up in L.A. with the recently crowned NBA Finals MVP, who was considering his potential free-agent destinations, sources told Shelburne.

Leonard reportedly then called Paul George, who was also a member of the Thunder at the time, and told George he'd rather team up with him for an L.A. homecoming.

A week later, the Thunder traded George to the Los Angeles Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round draft selections, and the rights to swap two other first-rounders.

Six days after George was shipped to L.A., the Thunder traded Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, two protected first-round picks, and draft considerations. Four-and-a-half months later, the Washington Wizards acquired Westbrook for John Wall and a 2023 lottery-protected first-round pick.

Last Tuesday, two years after Westbrook's reported call to Leonard, the 32-year-old finally made his L.A. homecoming after being dealt to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the No. 22 pick in Thursday's draft, Tennessee guard Keon Johnson.

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Report: Kawhi opted for George over Westbrook for Clippers homecoming
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