Sources: Leonard and George met in LA earlier in week. Clippers had long been frontrunners for Leonard, but it is unlikely he would've made final leap to sign without PG trade. Clippers imagined Leonard as part of a Lakers Big 3 --- and knew they had no choice. They did OKC deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Free agent guard Danny Green will sign a two-year, $30M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
Very early Saturday morning (or late Friday night, if you’re on the West Coast), the Leonard news broke, with the Paul George trade coming along with it. With Leonard leaving Toronto and not going to the Lakers, that meant Green was free to leave the Raptors and take part of the Lakers empty cap space. The only scenario were it was likely Green signed with the Mavericks was if Leonard chose the Lakers. Instead, a new super team has formed in the Western Conference and the Mavericks are left holding the bag again.
Green was the only real primary Mavs target that was widely reported among local and national reporters. On the first day of free agency, Green was the only free agent that Mavericks reportedly spoke with. It was clear soon after that Green was going to wait on Leonard before making his choice, knowing he could run it back and defend the title if Leonard stayed in Toronto or take either the Lakers or Mavericks money, depending on the situation.
So of course, Green ends up in Los Angeles. The crop of free agents left is considerably weaker today than it was on Sunday evening, so the Mavericks don’t have many options remaining. The latest rumor is signing guard Delon Wright an offer sheet to try and pry him out of Memphis. After that, who knows.
We’ll have more on this fallout in the coming days, but this much is clear — from a strategy, planning and optics standpoint, this is one of the most embarrassing free agencies in Mavericks history.