Clippers: Will Kawhi Leonard ever suit up for the team again?

Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Demarcus Cousins, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Demarcus Cousins, LA Clippers. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s no guarantee that Kawhi Leonard will be back for the LA Clippers next season.

He has a player option he has to pick up for the 2021-2022 season. A few other teams have entered themselves in the discussion for Leonard next year, and there are attractive parts about the locations. Some of the most notable destinations include playing for the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks, or the Miami Heat.

The Clippers have a lot to offer too, and this topic is going to be maybe the hottest of the NBA offseason in 2021.

The Clippers should be able to bring Kawhi Leonard back, but it’s by no means guaranteed.

Kawhi Leonard will make $36,016,200 next year if he chooses to stay with the Clippers.

While that’s a very large contract, he could see more offered to him if he opts to turn down the option and test free agency.

That’s what the Clips have to worry about. There are teams such as the New York Knicks that have a ridiculous amount of money to spend this offseason. A ton of potential tier one 2021 free agents already signed extensions, leaving Leonard as one of a lesser amount of superstars available this offseason than what was supposed to be the case.

Teams like the Miami Heat even seemed to set up their roster at the trade deadline to the point where they wouldn’t have to pay for much beyond this 2020-2021 season. It seemed like they could’ve done this intentionally for Kawhi.

While this is worth monitoring, it doesn’t spell doom for the Clippers just yet. It’s no secret that Kawhi likes to play in Los Angeles, and it’s rumored that Kawhi and Ty Lue have a solid relationship.

It would be hard not to, as Lue did an exceptional job coaching this Clipper team this year.

There has, however, been a report by FS1’s Skip Bayless, that states that Kawhi is not happy with the Clippers medical staff. The report suggests that Leonard feels that the medical staff underplayed his injury early on.

It’s a very similar situation that caused a rift between he and the San Antonio Spurs, and he obviously requested a trade after that. His wish was of course granted. This rumor has died down in the past few days, however, and there hasn’t been a ton of backup for the report from Bayless.

It’s another situation that needs to be monitored, but nobody knows anything just yet.

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The Clippers are very much in these Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes. Many would consider it likely for the Clips to get him back, but the Clippers need to keep good relations with him throughout this process in order to make sure they secure the superstar for next year.