The Los Angeles Clippers are preparing a trade package for San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, should he become available, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick.
The Los Angeles Clippers may be in the business of adding another star player after trading away Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the last year. The Clippers, who are in the middle of a semi-rebuilding period, could be ready to make a move for Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the Clippers are keeping a close eye on the tumultuous situation developing in San Antonio.
Leonard and the Spurs have been at odds over the status of his injury. Leonard has not played a game since January 13 with a quadriceps injury. Team doctors have cleared the small forward to return, but his own doctors have not. The hesitation to return, in addition to a team meeting where Spurs teammates allegedly pressured Leonard to play, has lead to a tense situation in San Antonio.
The Spurs, who are currently down 0-1 to the Warriors, may not see Leonard play again this season. Leonard is expected to miss the remainder of the postseason to continue his rehabilitation, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania .
Could the Clippers actually pull this off?
If the relationship between the Spurs and Kawhi get to the point that they actually look to shop their two-time Defensive Player of the Year, the Clippers actually have the assets to make something work. The Clippers now have several players on value contracts and will likely have two lottery picks in this years draft.
If DeAndre Jordan opts in to his contract, he could be a key centerpiece to a Leonard trade package. The Spurs will likely ask for the farm if they trade their franchise player. However, with Leonard’s injury concern, and Jerry West’s persistence to not make bad deals, it is hard to imagine the Clippers making a trade that could cripple the team’s depth.
LA could be an attractive destination for Leonard. The SDSU product grew up in Los Angeles, spending his whole life in Southern California prior to be drafted. The Clippers are in a position to become serious contenders if they add a star like Leonard. A team with a potential starting lineup with Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley could wreak havoc on the league.
In my opinion, if the Clippers have a shot at Kawhi Leonard, they should take it. The former Finals MVP is a franchise player at the most important position in the game today. If anyone can put together a fair trade package, while keeping the franchise ready to contend, its Jerry West.
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