Gill: I Don't Understand Kawhi's Decision

Kendall Gill explains what Leonard should have done in free agency and why his decision to join the Clippers doesn't make sense

Taz and the Moose
July 08, 2019 - 10:07 am
Kawhi Leonard Raptors Clippers

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After leading the Raptors to their first NBA title in franchise history, Kawhi Leonard elected to leave Toronto for the Los Angeles Clippers.

And Kendall Gill doesn’t know why.

“I don’t understand – unless Kawhi Leonard just wants to be in L.A. – why he made this move,” the former NBA player and current NBC Sports Bulls analyst said on Taz & The Moose. “L.A. is great, and California is his home state, but if I’m Kawhi Leonard, I go back to Toronto and see if I can run it back. He left $50 million on the table and a championship-caliber team – a team that you just won a championship with – to go play with Paul George, a guy who hasn’t really won anything? I know Paul George is a wonderful player. I’m not taking anything from him, but I’m not going to go do that.”

Leonard, of course, wants the Clippers to be the best team in the league, but they might not even be the best team in their own city.

“You got a team that is fully loaded now,” Gill said of the Lakers. “You’re not beating those guys. Nobody is going to beat the Los Angeles Lakers next year. So I don’t understand the move by Kawhi, unless he just wanted to go back to California.”

Had Leonard joined the Lakers, he would have played second fiddle to LeBron James. That may have been part of his reason for choosing the Clippers.

“He’s not second fiddle,” Gill said. “This guy’s – probably next to LeBron – the best player in the NBA right now. I’m just disappointed. I really wanted to see if he could win another one with the Toronto Raptors . . . but I’m glad that he didn’t go to the Los Angeles Lakers. They’re trying to win it this year, and I actually hate the idea of super teams being put together. Let’s see what he can do with Doc Rivers and Paul George. I don’t think they’re going to be able to do much. Yeah, they’re two great players, but they duplicate each other. That’s another thing people aren’t really talking about. They really have the same game. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”

Gill also weighed in on Jimmy Butler’s decision to leave Philadelphia for Miami.

“I think Jimmy Butler saw that they have two All-Stars on this team (Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons) and it’s going to be hard for me to make the All-Star team, so I have to go someplace else where I can let my game shine,” Gill said. “I think that’s the reason he chose Miami.”