3 Clippers players who improved their trade value the most

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The LA Clippers are coming off a disappointing first-round loss that capped yet another injury-riddled campaign. When the team was whole, they had spurts where they looked like the best in the league. The on-paper talent of this team was rivaled only by the Boston Celtics.

But like paper, the Clippers’ stars proved vulnerable to ripping and tearing. Kawhi Leonard only played in two playoff games; Paul George didn’t play in any at all. Many supporting characters missed chunks of games throughout the season. The Clippers did end up holding onto the fifth seed, but they were just a handful of games out of the play-in, and only stole one victory off the Suns in Round 1.

The team’s core is old, and getting older. Ty Lue is highly coveted around the league. And the new CBA, with its far more punitive second apron for the ultra-high-tax-paying teams (i.e., the Clippers), is looming. There aren’t any overt indications that the Clippers want to blow it up, and I’m not suggesting they should… but if they did, here are three guys who increased their selling price this past season.

3. Kawhi Leonard

As Kawhi Leonard didn’t play in the 2021-2022 season for the LA Clippers, there were a lot of offseason concerns that he wouldn’t be the same caliber of player when he returned to the court.

Then the “Ka-thigh” Leonard photos started coming out:


Leonard clearly put the legwork in, and it paid off with a massive bounce-back performance this season. After shaking off some understandable rust and fully powering up, those bionic limbs propelled Leonard to 27 points, seven rebounds, and four assists per game for the 2023 calendar year. Those are All-NBA numbers. Add in his typically superb defensive effort, and you have a guy who looked like one of the best players in the league once again.

Leonard went to another level in the playoffs against the Suns, averaging 34 points in the two contests he participated in on electric shooting and giving Kevin Durant all sorts of problems on both ends.

Injuries will always be a concern with Leonard, dampening his trade value. But when healthy, he might be the most well-rounded player in the game, and he has a habit of improving upon his already-dominant regular season performances in the playoffs.

Now, would the Clippers want to trade Leonard? Indications right now are that they’ll keep him, as trading him would almost certainly lead to a complete teardown. But he suffered another injury in this year’s playoffs, a torn meniscus. Fans have lost faith that he’ll ever be fully healthy for a playoff run.

If doing the same thing over and over is insanity, the Clippers need to be committed. Even with his health history, Leonard would certainly fetch a handsome price and jumpstart any rebuild; LA brass just needs to swallow hard and pull the trigger. The Klaw isn’t getting younger or healthier, and now might be the last chance they have to recoup some value for him.