Just minutes after it was reported that Kawhi Leonard would be signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, Danny Green put out a video announcing that he was signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers gave Green a two-year, $30 million deal, locking down an elite shooter and defender with championship experience.
The timing of Green’s announcement was not coincidental as Leonard’s decision would directly affect his own. He had been Leonard’s teammate since the latter came into the league with the San Antonio Spurs and were traded together to the Toronto Raptors. It is widely believed that if Leonard remained in Toronto, Green would have done the same.
With so much history between the two, it would make sense that Green would’ve had some inside information on Leonard’s decision but like the rest of the NBA world, he was in the dark until that announcement came.
“Those five days seemed like five months,” Green said during his introductory conference call. “And each day that went by, I checked in with ‘Whi and I’m like, ‘Yo, what’s going on with your meeting?’ ‘I have a meeting tomorrow.’ So I have to wait another day?’ You think a day, it goes by pretty fast but the way it was happening, the way I was talking to him, you would think it was a week. Like, ‘I got to wait another day, dude? Like, come on!’”
This type of experience is normal for many in free agency, especially role players such as Green. The moves of the big All-Star players usually dictate moves for others and many players will wait as they are more likely to get more money from teams who missed out on those big names.
This summer followed a much different script as every big name aside from Leonard was signed within the first 24 hours of free agency and many other players were fine with signing the deals offered to them instead of waiting. But for Green, waiting on Leonard was a necessity.
The Lakers missed out on Leonard which was a major loss, but they recovered as well and as quickly as they could following it and Green was a huge part of that.