NBA notebook: Clippers roll out duo of Leonard, George

NBA notebook: Clippers roll out duo of Leonard, George
By Reuters

25/07/2019 at 03:35Updated 25/07/2019 at 03:38

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were rolled out as members of the Los Angeles Clippers at an introductory press conference on Wednesday, with both players beaming that they finally will be wearing the same uniform.

Leonard, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, recruited the six-time All-Star George to
join him in Los Angeles -- George is from Palmdale, Calif., to the north,
Leonard from Riverside, Calif., to the east -- and sees George's two-way game
as a good complement to his.

"Now we're on the Clippers and it's just, I think we got something special and
we can make history here." Leonard said at the press conference. "We got the
right team to do it ... I'm ready to go."

"I remember when I was at Indy and we drafted Kawhi," George said. "We could
have done some special things at Indiana, but it's great to fast forward where
we are now. We're both here in L.A., and it just seems like this was destined.
We were supposed to play together."

--The Portland Trail Blazers will sign six-time All-Star free agent Pau Gasol,
the Spanish big man announced on Twitter.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Gasol's deal will be for one year and $2.6
million, as he joins a Blazers team coming off a run to the Western Conference
Finals. "Ready and happy to join one of the best teams in the league!" Gasol

Gasol, who turned 39 earlier this month, is coming off the worst season of his
18-year NBA career. In failing to average double digits in scoring for the
first time of his career, he recorded just 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per
game in 30 contests (six starts) with San Antonio and Milwaukee.

--New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson's shoe deal with Jordan Brand
is the largest ever for an NBA rookie in terms of annual pay, ESPN reported.

Per ESPN, the contract is for five years. The report added that several
competitors made offers with total values "well into the nine-figure range,"
and other offers exceeding $10 million annually. The deal surpassed LeBron
James' as the most lucrative landed by a rookie.

The No. 1 pick in June's draft, Williamson is widely regarded as the most
coveted endorser to enter the NBA in years, arguably since James in 2003.

--More than three weeks after the Denver Nuggets reportedly agreed to a
lucrative contract extension with star combo guard Jamal Murray, the team
officially announced the signed five-year deal.

The Nuggets did not reveal further specifics regarding the contract. The
Athletic reported on July 1 that the sides agreed to terms on an extension
worth $170 million.

Murray, 22, had one season remaining on his original rookie contract and would
have been a restricted free agent next summer. Instead, the extension, which
will kick in after the 2019-20 season, will run through the 2024-25 season.

--Speaking on "The Warrior Podcast," three-time NBA champion head coach Steve
Kerr called out transactions sparked by star players as "bad for the league"
and "a real problem."

"I'm talking more about the Anthony Davis situation," Kerr said of the big man
maneuvering his way from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and
says, 'I want to leave.' That's a real problem that the league has to address
and that the players have to be careful with."

Kerr has an issue with Davis' approach, while still under contract, as opposed
to stars who have played out their contracts first before switching teams.

--Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love joined the growing list of
withdrawals from USA Basketball's FIBA World Cup roster, The Athletic

The five-time All-Star Love told The Athletic he called Team USA coach Gregg
Popovich to inform him that he wasn't going to play in the event that runs
Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in Shanghai, China.

Love is the fifth player in three days to pull out. Washington Wizards guard
Bradley Beal and Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris withdrew Monday, and
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar
DeRozan pulled out Tuesday.

--Field Level Media