The long and winding road that led the Los Angeles Clippers to clandestinely land two of the biggest stars in the NBA in a single swoop this offseason had a few interesting stops along the way, including the home of the most visible court side supporter of the Toronto Raptors.
Reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard joined the Clippers in July, making his move back to California only after receiving word that fellow star and Cali hometown hero Paul George would be joining him on the squad. It took some clever machinations behind-the-scenes to pull off, but the duo had some help from Drake to organize their escape route.
The two met a couple of times at Drake’s house in Hidden Hills, California, according to Ramona Shelburne’s in-depth piece on George’s homecoming on ESPN.com.
Drake, who is technically a member of the Raptors as the team’s “Global Ambassador,” and Leonard grew close during Kawhi’s time in Toronto, and the rapper allowed Leonard use of his house during the frenzied free agency period that saw him taking meetings with both Los Angeles franchises as well as the Raptors.
The house became a backdrop for one of the most intriguing offseason plots in NBA history, as the top free agent in Leonard helped concoct a plan to get George traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Clippers in exchange for a pair of players and an unprecedented haul of five first-round picks.
The rest, of course, is history. The Clippers agreed to the deal, landed George and signed Kawhi. They currently sit fourth in the Western Conference standings at 28-13 halfway through the season, 5.5 games back of the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.
Ever since the two superstars met up to devise their moves at Drake’s place, nothing was the same in Los Angeles, Toronto, or the NBA.
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