The Clippers should trade with Portland to replace Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers – Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports /

This trade is a win-win for the Clippers and Trail Blazers

For the Portland Trail Blazers, they are receiving an established hall-of-famer from the LA Clippers. Kawhi Leonard, at his best, is not only the best playoff performer in basketball, but his mentality can guide a team like Portland to where they want to be.

Additionally, Leonard’s defensive abilities make him a perfect fit for a team like the Trail Blazers, who have a history of struggling on defense. This also allows their franchise centerpiece, Damian Lillard, to breathe on offense, as he will have a scoring machine by his side.

Another reason this trade is a win for Portland is the circumstances surrounding Lillard and his contract. Though he has stayed loyal to his city since being drafted, it is clear that he wants to win a championship. This is a tough position for the Trail Blazers’ front office as they are constantly in the lottery drafting young talent. Therefore a trade like this fits their scheme perfectly.

Conversely, the LA Clippers begin their rebuild in the best way possible. They will not only be able to draft a talent such as Brandon Miller, but they will also receive Anfernee Simons. This is golden for LA, as Simons is first-option material and is only 23 years old.

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The Clippers will also be relieving Portalnd of Jusuf Nurkic’s hefty contract. On the flip side, Nurkic’s experience and offensive components could seriously help LA fight for a playoff spot, despite being in the middle of a rebuild. Not to mention this addition gives the coaching staff a reliable center, which is crucial considering how uncertain Mason Plumlee’s future may be.