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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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 27: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers controls the ball in a NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 27, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 27: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers controls the ball in a NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 27, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

No. 1: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the future of the LA Clippers, and with near-limitless potential, it’s important for him to grow as much as he can in the early years of his career. What better way is there to ensure that happens than to play him alongside Kawhi Leonard?

Gilgeous-Alexander has a lot of the same physical tools that Leonard possessed when he came into the league back in 2011. He’s tall (6’6″ vs 6’7″), long (7’0″ wingspan vs 7’3″) and is an extremely gifted scorer. More importantly, they both know how to defend.

With Shai’s tools, Leonard could help him make the most of his career and craft him into one of the NBA’s premier two-way stars in a matter of years.

There’s also the offensive side of the floor where Leonard could help Gilgeous-Alexander improve.

Like Landry Shamet, the majority of Gilgeous-Alexander’s looks either came at the rim or from three-point range. A large portion of the rookie’s shots also came from the midrange, which is an area of the floor where he’s proven to already be an effective player. And while he’s already a tremendous finisher at the rim, the same can’t exactly be said about his three-pointer.

Gilgeous-Alexander shot 36.7 percent from deep during the course of his rookie season, which is by no means a “bad” number. More importantly, he made 43.8 percent of his looks from range after the All-Star break, and he looked like a much more comfortable shooter during that stretch as well.

Leonard, an effective three-point shooter himself, could help Gilgeous-Alexander remain confident in his ability to shoot and teach him when to do so. There were multiple times this season when Shai would pass up wide open looks from deep, and with a player like Leonard in his ear, those are shots that Gilgeous-Alexander would hardly shy away from taking ever again.

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With Leonard’s help, Gilgeous-Alexander and the rest of the LA Clippers could all become much better players and could carry themselves to title contention in the near future.