NBA

NBA investigating LA Clippers over Kawhi Leonard recruitment

The NBA has launched an investigation into the Los Angeles Clippers following a TMZ Sports story about the circumstances surrounding Kawhi Leonard’s decision to join the team, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

Johnny Wilkes, a man who claims to be close to Leonard and best friends with Kawhi’s uncle Dennis Robertson, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against West and the Clippers, alleging the team consultant owes him $2.5 million in an oral agreement made for helping the Clippers sign Leonard.

“The lawsuit filed by Johnny Wilkes is replete with inaccuracies and the allegations are baseless,” the Clippers said in a statement. “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.”

A previous NBA investigation in 2019 found that the Clippers did not provide any improper benefits that would amount to tampering while recruiting Leonard. However, Wilkes maintains among the other allegations that West had agreed to provide Robertson with a home in Southern California and a travel expense account.

“I deny engaging in any improper conduct in connection with the signing of Kawhi Leonard,” West told TMZ Sports.

If the allegations are found to be true, the Clippers could face up to a $10 million fine and possibly lose draft picks.

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