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Report: NBA investigating Clippers after allegations against Jerry West

A suit has been opened alleging a man helped Jerry West and the Clippers convince Kawhi Leonard to sign with the team.

LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard passes the ball against Denver Nuggets forward Jerami Grant and forward Torrey Craig during the second half of game five in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Kawhi has come out and commented on the suit against West and has denied allegations that his friend helped recruit him to the Clippers.

The NBA is opening an investigation in the allegations against Jerry West in the 2019 recruitment of Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers. Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the investigation was being launched after TMZ reported that West was being sued by a man alleging he helped the franchise recruit Kawhi to L.A.

Here’s what West had to say to TMZ after the allegations were reported:

“I am not aware of any lawsuit being filed against me and I deny engaging in any improper conduct in connection with the signing of Kawhi Leonard.”

The TMZ report says that a friend of Leonard’s is asking for $2.5 million he is owed in the wooing of the All-Star forward to Los Angeles. These allegations seem like a stretch. If you remember, Kawhi had always wanted to go home and play in California. So that left the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers (who traded for Anthony Davis), and Sacramento Kings? Kawhi is tough to get a gauge on these days, but that was the expectation at the time.