Anthony Davis tried to recruit Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers in free agency but had no idea what would work with the enigmatic star

anthony davis lakers

Damian Dovarganes/AP

Anthony Davis tried to help assemble a Big 3 in Los Angeles by recruiting Kawhi Leonard.

  • Anthony Davis tried to recruit Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Lakers during free agency.
  • Davis admitted he did not know the best way to recruit Leonard and wondered if he was texting him too much. Leonard's free agency process was a mystery to many in the NBA.
  • Davis said Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka ultimately solicited his opinion on the Lakers free agent signings, calling him every 30-45 minutes as they moved to Plan B after missing out on Leonard.
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In a summer where many of the biggest NBA free agents landed contracts in the opening hours, Kawhi Leonard's decision felt drawn out.

Leonard's landing spot in free agency was not known until the early hours of July 6, six days after free agency began, when it was announced he would join the Los Angeles Clippers, bringing Paul George with him.
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Over the early days of free agency, Leonard was said to be deciding between the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Clippers, with all three teams going all-out to recruit him.

Read more: NBA free agency has exploded. Here are the biggest signings so far and the best remaining players.

In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, new Lakers star Anthony Davis said he got in on the recruitment of Leonard, but like the rest of the NBA, had no idea if his efforts were effective.
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"Kawhi's not a big recruiter guy. That's what I heard," Davis told Nichols. "I would send him texts every now and then, and just [think], 'Is this too much?'"

Nichols laughed that nobody knew how to properly recruit Leonard, comparing it to dating."You really don't know," Davis said.
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Ultimately, Leonard wanted to join the Clippers but wanted them to find a second star to join him. He reportedly recruited George from the Oklahoma City Thunder, convincing him to ask the Thunder for a trade. A source close to George told ESPN that Leonard, despite being quiet and mysterious to much of the league, is a "hell of a recruiter."

Read more: Kawhi Leonard reportedly impressed NBA superstars with his free agency recruiting and ultimately planted the seeds for the Clippers big summer

The Lakers had to move to Plan B after missing out on Leonard. They split their cap space on a number of role players to fill out their roster: Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, and Quinn Cook.
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Davis told Nichols in the opening days of free agency, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka called him every 30-45 minutes, soliciting Davis' opinions on different players. Davis said he even had to tell Pelinka to hold off on calling him while he went to the movies.

Watch the full interview below:

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