Wilkes’ allegations against Jerry West and Los Angeles Clippers
"“that on June 29, 2019, he told Sam Watson “that the Clippers needed to sign Paul George in order to get Kawhi Leonard to sign.” . that on or about July 1, 2019, before the Clippers’ free-agency meeting with Leonard, Wilkes advised West that the Clippers needed to sell the idea to Leonard that he “will have a great life as a Clipper and after basketball” if he signs. Also that the Clippers needed to emphasize that their team will remain competitive and that they “will do whatever it takes to compete with the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James.” Wilkes also alleges that around July 4, 2019, “at the direction of Jerry West and the Clippers,” he informed Robertson that if Leonard signed with the Clippers, Leonard’s uncle would “receive a house in Southern California” along with a travel expense and that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer would “fund a $100,000,000.00 marketing campaign for Kawhi Leonard”."
There is also the issue of an alleged leaked voicemail between West and Wilkes.
Wilkes’ allegations renew controversy surrounding the circumstances that allowed Kawhi Leonard to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers in the summer of 2019 and sparks conversation about the NBA’s tampering rules revamped in September of 2019 in a stated effort to crack down on potential violations.
A finding that a team or executive tampered with a player could merit, under the harsher penalties, a 10 million dollar maximum fine, unauthorized agreements/under the table agreements could fetch a 6 million dollar fine (Bogdan Bogdanovic 2019 or Joe Smith 1999), team’s must retain communications with players for one year, and random audits by the league office of its franchises are some of the chief upgrades to the NBA’s tampering guidelines.
These rules could dramatically harm the Los Angeles Clippers franchise if Johnny Wilkes’ allegations are true.