Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers is a real possibility

SAN ANTONIO,TX - DECEMBER 18 : Kawhi Leonard
SAN ANTONIO,TX - DECEMBER 18 : Kawhi Leonard /

With rumors surrounding Kawhi Leonard wanting out of San Antonio, we take a look at the very real possibility of him joining the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard’s time with the San Antonio Spurs may really be coming to an end. Almost every team in the league will have some sort of conversation regarding the All-Star forward. Do the Los Angeles Clippers have a real shot at bringing him in? We sure think so.

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the communication between the two parties has not been good. In an interview yesterday, Windhorst said the following:

"“I have already talked to several NBA general managers. At the end of this season, teams will call the Spurs and inquire about the availability of Kawhi Leonard.”"

Let’s make this a little more interesting. According to Nate Robinson, Kawhi wants to be home.

"“From what I heard, from a little birdie, what I heard that the reason why he doesn’t, not that he doesn’t want to play, is that he doesn’t want to be in San Antonio no more, is because that I heard a big bag was coming. But if he doesn’t leave San Antonio that bag is not coming.”“Believe you me, he definitely wants to be somewhere especially like being at home.”"

Anyone know where home is? That’s right. California. Kawhi was born in Los Angeles and went to San Diego State University. A return to his home state might just make sense.

No, this doesn’t make the Clippers the sole destination of choice, especially with the Lakers and their massive salary cap, but let’s take a look at what the Clips could offer the Spurs for Leonard, who does have one year left on his current deal.

Clippers Assets

The best assets the Clippers have are their two first round draft picks this summer. One pick comes from Detroit and the Blake Griffin trade, while the other is the Clippers own pick. At this point, both look to be mid to late lottery picks. Neither spot is bad and with a good draft class, San Antonio could have interest.

The other key part of this trade would be matching salary. There are two big names on the current Clippers roster that could be flipped to the Spurs: DeAndre Jordan and Danilo Gallinari.

Danilo Gallinari

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Gallinari would give the Spurs a small forward who could easily fit into Gregg Popovich’s system. His salary also matches Kawhi so that no other money would be needed in the deal. It’s possible that more pieces may be needed to get involved, but Gallo plus the draft picks is a solid place to start.

This is the ideal move if the Clips can pull it off. Moving Gallo plus picks, while keeping DJ could lead to a monstrous defensive unit. If they are able to re-sign Avery Bradley, the starting lineup could look like this:

  • G – Patrick Beverley
  • G- Avery Bradley
  • F – Kawhi Leonard
  • F- Tobias Harris
  • C- DeAndre Jordan

Yikes. That scares a lot of teams.

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan also matches salary wise. DJ does have the option to opt out this summer, so trading him to the Spurs would have to be something he would agree on. However, it would put him back into his home state of Texas and he would have space in the paint due to being paired with LaMarcus Aldridge. The Clippers may be looking to move on from DeAndre any way, after already moving on from the other two pieces of the Lob City trio.


The team also has pieces in Austin Rivers and Avery Bradley, but moving them would require a little more work. Rivers has a player option, while Bradley would have to be a sign-and-trade, due to his unrestricted free agent status this summer. The Spurs did show interest in Bradley at the trade deadline, so that may be something both sides explore.

More Los Angeles Reasons

On top of the benefit of playing at home, Kawhi may be interested in Los Angeles for the benefits that come off the court. On The Bill Simmons Podcast yesterday, Bill talked about Kawhi possibly wanting to be more famous. He mentions the fact that negotiations between him and Jordan Brand fell apart due to the deal not reflecting what he had done in the league.

"“He obviously feels like he’s not as famous as some of these other guys and it bugs him. He wants to get paid, he wants more and it seems like he wants to be more recognizable.”"

As we mentioned, he could get this with either Los Angeles team. Simmons doesn’t even acknowledge the Clippers as a possible suitor, but let’s not neglect hope.

I mean, look what happened on our Twitter today.

There could very well be another wild off-season in store for us. In the meantime, we can only speculate. Follow along with us here and on Twitter as we keep you posted on all things Clippers related.