Dennis Robertson, the uncle of Kawhi Leonard who is known to be one of his top influencers, reportedly caused quite the uproar during free agency.
ESPN’s Stephen A Smith made a damning claim on First Take as he said people around the league told him of demands made by Robertson that included asking teams for a wide variety of perks including houses and planes which would violate CBA rules.
“This is me putting on my reporter’s hat here. People in NBA circles are talking about this right now: Allegedly, the uncle, Uncle Dennis, was asking for a lot of stuff from the other teams; houses, planes, sponsorship, guaranteed sponsorship money, just as an example. They’re throwing this stuff out there. All of those things are supposedly illegal in the collective bargaining agreement. I have no idea whether this is true or not. I’m not trying to cast any aspersions on Uncle Dennis, but people in NBA circles are talking about this as we speak. Why is that important? Because one could argue the reason why this story is out there right now about the Lakers and the Raptors feeling played wasn’t just because of what Uncle Dennis asked for, but they’re going to try to turn that around and parlay that into a question about what did the Clippers give up to get Kawhi Leonard. So in other words, you’ve got teams right now playing games with one another talking about they’re trying to point the finger at the Clippers saying, ‘let’s ask what the Clippers did to get Kawhi Leonard.’
“I’m here to tell you right now, we don’t care. We don’t care. The bottom line is Kawhi Leonard is with the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s not with the Lakers or the Raptors, but I’m telling you right now in the days to come you’re going to hear more noise about what Kawhi’s camp was asking for, with questions about what the Clippers gave up.”
Kawhi would ultimately sign with the Clippers in free agency. If the franchise is found to have violated CBA rules, they could be subject to a penalty that includes a $3 million fine, a loss of a first-round pick and/or the voiding of Leonard’s contract.
What’s not clear is whether the NBA is going to investigate these claims going forward. Rumors of Kawhi Leonard wanting to play in Southern California date all the way back to before the 2017-2018 season ended when he fell out with the San Antonio Spurs.