Three LA Clippers players who would benefit from playing with Kawhi Leonard

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 10: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers looks on during the game against the Utah Jazz on April 10, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 10: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers looks on during the game against the Utah Jazz on April 10, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images /

No. 3: Patrick Beverley

The LA Clippers already know how good and fierce a player Patrick Beverley is. A two-time All-Defensive Team selection and one of the most competitive players in the league, Beverley would be the last player to back down from a challenge, especially on the defensive side of the floor.

But is it possible that playing with Kawhi Leonard would make Beverley a better defender?

As the Clippers’ best defender this season, Beverley was often tasked with defending — or rather chose to defend — the opposing teams’ best players. It happened all season long, but it was even more evident in the playoffs when Beverley volunteered to take on one of the best players in basketball in Kevin Durant.

He made his presence felt through the first few games of the series, particularly when he limited Durant to just eight field goal attempts in the Clippers’ shocking Game 2 victory. But as good a defender as Beverley is, even he couldn’t prevent Durant from doing his thing the rest of the series.

That’s where Leonard comes in. Given his frame and defensive versatility, he’d be much better equipped to take on players like Durant, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, to name a few. And by doing so, he’d allow Beverley to stick to suffocating opposing guards, which is what he does better than almost anyone else in the league.

Don’t get us wrong — Beverley has never let his size become an issue for himself on the court. But Leonard would allow him to stick to defending players that are closer to his frame, which would help create an all-around tougher defense that would force other, less comfortable players to be the ones to step up and beat the Clippers.