The National Basketball Association has opened an inquiry into Los Angeles Clippers executive Jerry West’s involvement in Kawhi Leonard’s signing as a free agent with the team in 2019 after a lawsuit filed against Jerry on Monday; an NBA official told the New York Times.
The official requested secrecy because they are not allowed to speak openly about an ongoing investigation.
Johnny Wilkes filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, claiming that Jerry agreed to pay him $2 million if he helped the Clippers sign, Kawhi Leonard, in free agency in early 2019.
Wilkes also alleges in the lawsuit that he notified Leonard’s uncle, Dennis Robertson, that Robertson would receive a travel expense account, a house in California and Steve Ballmer Clippers owner would finance a $100 million marketing campaign for him. Wilkes claims in the lawsuit that he gave Jerry vital information to use in the Clipper’s offer to Leonard during a meeting.
On Thursday, following the Clippers’ preseason win against the Utah Jazz, Leonard said, “That has nothing to do with me swinging my mind to go somewhere.”
“I’m from Los Angeles, and I grew up here my whole life. Over here, people try to find any means to earn some money, so he possibly won’t be the last. I know a lot of folks over here,” he added.
Wilkes also claims that after Leonard signed with the team he met with Jerry at a Beverly Hills restaurant and he “restated that the Clippers would take care of him and that they honour their agreement. Jerry then ordered Plaintiff to type his payment request and email it to his close friend Jim Gray. Though at the meeting, Jim Gray sent his email address to Plaintiff. He authorized his payment request in writing, emailed it to Gray the next day,” as stated in the lawsuit.
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