On a night that appeared to be historic because of an earthquake that occurred during Zion Williamson’s first Summer League game, a different kind of seismic shift occurred several hours later when the Clippers became arguably the best team in the league. The Los Angeles Clippers won the race to get Kawhi Leonard’s signature, convincing the free agent forward to join their team on a four-year max contract. But in an added twist, Leonard wasn’t the only All-Star the Clippers got, as trading for Paul George was a prerequisite to landing the reigning NBA Finals MVP.
Additionally, it came at the expense of two other teams that believed their championship hopes would increase to the nth degree by securing his signature: Leonard’s now-former team and reigning champs, the Toronto Raptors, and the Clippers’ fellow Staples Center tenants, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The power Leonard possesses to swing a title race was cemented last season and is something that we only see out of the league’s premier superstars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Leonard now belongs in that tier, and it’s why three basketball teams did everything they could to acquire his services. In the end, it was the Clippers that managed to pull off the improbable, and as the summer now settles into a true offseason, it begs the question: Where do all three of these teams go from here? They all find themselves at radically different points due to Leonard’s decision, and as such, we decided to look at all of them now that the dust has begin to settle.