Further clarity provided Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are guilty of defying tampering rules

OKC Thunder: Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, left, looks on at his new players Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, (Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, left, looks on at his new players Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, (Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images) /

Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst recent collaboration on the Woj pod provides clarity on conflicting statements regarding the timing of Paul George’s trade request to the OKC Thunder. New details most certainly point to a violation of the CBA.

In a recent interview, Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers implied their franchise knew the OKC Thunder wanted to blow up their team. This of course made no sense given the early moves General Manager Sam Presti made in free agency to sign Alec Burks and Mike Muscala as Thunderous Intentions outlined in a recent article.

Rivers went on to state they provided Kawhi Leonard with a list of names of star players the Clippers felt could be potentially strong partnerships with the reigning NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

Doc went on to say Leonard pointed to Paul George‘s name on the list and said that’s who I want you to go get. He further said Kawhi told the Clippers he needed them to add another star in order to get him to commit with the team.

It’s interesting how each day seemingly brings new information or clarification to the order of events. The new spin comes from Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst on The Woj Pod recorded on September 23rd.

With two of the most dialed in NBA media men, it’s hard not to buy what Woj and Windhorst are selling. Specifically, Woj offers up the timeline shooting down Doc’s statement of Kawhi picking a star he wanted the Clippers to go after (Paul George). Fast forward to 20:46 of the podcast for the following…

"The idea that Kawhi Leonard first introduced the idea of trading for Paul George in his meeting with the Clippers, from a list, we know that days before free agency started, well days before, Kawhi and Paul George were talking. Paul George’s agent went to Oklahoma City prior to the start of free agency and said Paul would like to be traded to the Clippers. He wants to play with Kawhi. But, at that point, Kawhi wasn’t allowed to be talking with the Clippers. They couldn’t officially have contact with him until after June 30, 6 p.m."

This now makes it appear like Doc is trying to provide a timeline which covers up their new superstars’ illegal collusion activity. If this is the accurate timeline then Kawhi Leonard and Paul George would both be (or should be) under investigation by Adam Silver and the NBA for defying the CBA and tampering rules.

The other overwhelming fact is Adam Silver repeatedly focused on the league being intent on achieving compliance. Therefore, if he allows the most egregious actions of teams and players ignoring the CBA and tampering rules this summer then how will small markets like the OKC Thunder believe the NBA is serious in their efforts?

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More specifically, it’s great if the league intends to punish future teams for defying the process but if you want to ensure compliance then it’s vital the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George all get fined (and or suspended) for not complying this offseason.

Other players such as teams like the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets and players like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Kemba Walker should all be investigated as well since their announcements of where they were headed came either prior to or right at the moment the moratorium began.

That said, what makes the Clippers, Leonard and George situation stand out is learning Kawhi contacted at least four players prior to the start of free agency. Furthermore, Adam Silver used the Paul George situation as an example he wants the NBA to be on top of. This because George had just signed a deal last summer so forcing his way out only a year later is troublesome for the commissioner.

Next. Thunder and small markets set to benefit from new NBA tampering rules. dark

For now, all we can do is sit back and wait to see if Silver’s actions match his words. Again, failure to follow up on this situation will only leave a bad taste in small market teams and their fan base’s mouths.