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The Kawhi effect

If, on July 9, Kawhi Leonard leaked to the NBA news breakers that he was actually going to be headed back to Toronto, a lot of NBA teams would look a whole lot different right now.

Considering the butterfly effect with Kawhi’s power move is a thought-exercise in how much power the modern NBA superstar possesses.

Here’s what his chess move to the Clippers meant for...

The Clippers: Instant contention over the next two years and another home run for Jerry West, who can add Kawhi to a list of free agent signings that includes Shaq and Kevin Durant.

The Raptors: A now-underwhelming and aging roster with no chance of defending its title.

The Thunder: A complete and total tear down, and the sudden possession of Chris Paul, who played two seasons in OKC in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

To start the month, OKC had two maxed-out superstars early in their contracts. Then, Kawhi hit Paul George with a U up?

The Rockets: A revived backcourt and the reunion of two friends who go wayyyyyy back. The trade of Chris Paul confirmed what Daryl Morey had spent the offseason denying: That James Harden and Paul were not on good terms. Now, can we blast those State Farm commercials into outer space?

The Heat (?): Paul is a 34-year-old deteriorating point guard with $124 million and three years left on his contract. Does Pat Riley care about that? Probably not. Miami is the rumored destination for CP3


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