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July 06, 2019

Clippers sign Kawhi Leonard, taking Raptors' former star out of the Sixers' Eastern Conference

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Joel Embiid Kawhi Leonard Dan Hamilton/USA Today

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, right, is embraced by Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid at the end of Game 7 of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena.

The Clippers are signing Kawhi Leonard, former Raptors superstar and man who broke so many Philadelphia hearts, to a four-year, $142 million deal, according to an early Saturday morning report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Clippers also completed a blockbuster trade to acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a number of draft picks and two players in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, according to Wojnarowski.

The moves' implications on the NBA's Western Conference are fascinating, but it's also of huge importance to Sixers fans. PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck will take a closer look at what this all means for the Sixers soon, but here are the basics.

For now, we know that the Raptors will not have a superstar next season unless they mastermind something gigantic and unexpected. The summer's marquee free agents have all chosen their respective destinations.

Kyle Lowry is an aging guard who needs a better player on his team to succeed. Marc Gasol is also an aging former star. The Raptors will also be without sharpshooter Danny Green, who signed a two-year deal with the Lakers on Saturday morning, according to Wojnarowski.

The Raptors were one of just two Eastern Conference teams with a better record than the Sixers last season. The Brooklyn Nets will undoubtedly be a better team this season after acquiring Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan, but Durant isn't expected to play at all this season. The Celtics added Kemba Walker, but lost Aron Baynes, Al Horford, and Irving.

The league's main free agency storylines have finally been wrapped up, and the Eastern Conference is now even more winnable for the Sixers.


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