When the LA Clippers landed Kawhi Leonard last summer, there seemed to be no doubt that the franchise had followed proper protocol. Not only did the signing occur days after the free agency period began, but Leonard had made it clear in years prior that he preferred to play basketball in Los Angeles.
However, earlier Thursday afternoon, the NBA announced that it was investigating allegations against Jerry West regarding Leonard's recruitment.
According to TMZ, a man named Johnny Wilkes is suing West for $2.5 million and claiming that he helped the Clippers sign the two-time NBA Finals MVP.
Wilkes alleges that, among other things, he informed West that the Clippers had to trade for Paul George to get a commitment from Leonard, and that LA's brass needed to pitch Leonard on the idea that he will have a successful career as a member of the franchise.
Leonard responded to those allegations following Thursday's contest with the Utah Jazz, dismissing Wilkes as somebody looking for money.
The Clippers issued a statement earlier in the day regarding the allegations, saying, "The lawsuit filed by Johnny Wilkes is replete with inaccuracies and the allegations are baseless. The Clippers are fully cooperating with the NBA in its investigation, which is standard when these types of allegations are made. They are providing the NBA with evidence that the allegations are false."