Why a Kawhi Leonard/Kevin Durant pairing makes sense for the LA Clippers

(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant are reportedly discussing teaming up this offseason. Here’s why that pairing makes the most sense for the LA Clippers.

Free agency has yet to begin, but this summer already has all the makings to be a wild one. With more teams able to sign max-level free agents than there are to sign, plenty of franchises are going to miss out on a chance to elevate their team to title contention. But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the LA Clippers might not be one of those teams.

On Saturday, Wojnarowski reported that Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard are considering teaming up this summer. In addition, he named the LA Clippers and New York Knicks as the two teams that could have the capacity to sign both forwards once free agency kicks off on Sunday evening.

Both teams would make sense as destinations for the superstars — they both need a player (or players) with the abilities that Leonard and Durant possess, they’re both expected to have the capacity to afford them, and both are in desperate need of a title-contending season.

However, there’s plenty of reason to believe that the LA Clippers make more sense as a destination for the duo than the New York Knicks.

For starters, the Clippers are a much more competent franchise than the Knicks are at this point. The Clippers have drafted well for the last few seasons, have a strong culture established, and are led by a powerful front office that employs Jerry West, Lawrence Frank, Michael Winger and then some. Not to mention the Clippers are carried by the enthusiasm (and big wallet) of franchise owner Steve Ballmer.

The Clippers also have a more promising future in store. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet both look like they’ll be stars in the near future after playing a big role in the Clippers’ unexpected success during the 2018-2019 season, and Jerome Robinson still has plenty of untapped potential.

New York does have Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and R.J. Barrett, and while those players may end up having higher ceilings for their careers, none of them have playoff experience under their belts like the Clippers’ rookies do.

Speaking of that experience, it’s hard to forget that LA is led by head coach Doc Rivers, who just finished second in Coach of the Year voting after guiding the Clippers to 48 wins this past season — despite not having a single All-Star, past or present, on the roster.

Durant and Leonard would instantly make either team a force to be reckoned with and a title contender as well, but the Clippers are the team better built to provide a title as soon as possible. Already a playoff team with plenty of talented role players, adding just one star could vault LA to the top of the Western Conference standings.

Next. Leonard, Durant discussing playing together for LA Clippers. dark

The duo is sure to experience plenty of success regardless of where they go, if they even sign someplace together. But if they choose the LA Clippers, that success may come sooner rather than later and would take the Clippers-Lakers rivalry to brand new heights.