UPDATED 12/17, 6:12 p.m. ET: The NBA is now investigating claims surrounding Jerry West pursuing Kawhi Leonard for the Clippers that were outlined in an article from TMZ, NBA Writer Sam Amick reports.
See original story below.
Per the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Johnny Wilkes claims to have had an agreement to work for West during the Clippers' courting of Kawhi. Wilkes reportedly told West in April 2019 that he had close ties to Leonard and his uncle, Dennis Robertson. This allegedly moved West to ask Wilkes a few weeks later if he could help the Clippers land Kawhi. Yet, nothing in life is free as Wilkes says he told West his services would cost $2.5 million.
West agreed to the terms prompting Wilkes to "immediately" start working on convincing Kawhi to sign with the Clippers. Wilkes claimed he was the driving force in the Clippers acquiring Paul George to intrigue Kawhi. He also says that he gave West and the Clippers information needed to tailor their pitch for Leonard.
"This information was vital because it was the exact information Kawhi Leonard wanted to hear at the time in order to effectuate his signing with the Clippers," the lawsuit says.
Wilkes went on to state that he help orchestrate a deal with the West and Robertson that included a Southern California home and travel expense account. After signing with the Clippers, Wilkes was invited to Leonard's celebratory dinner with West. There, he alleges West once again agreed to pay him the over $2 million that was owed.
Yet, West has failed to make good on this promise nearly two years later. Wilkes is now suing for breach of contract seeking to gain the original $2.5 million as well as damages from West.