3. Heat pivot to Kawhi
The Miami Heat are always chasing the next available star. Damian Lillard has requested a trade and made it clear he wants to be in Miami, but there has been no traction on a deal. The Heat are limited in what they can offer, and the Blazers have no interest in Tyler Herro with three young guards already on their roster.
There is no pressure to make a deal right now, but if things do not move forward as training camp approaches, both sides may have to move on. Miami will be looking for the next available superstar, and they would love to add Kawhi Leonard.
Do the Clippers believe in Herro? The 23-year-old has averaged over 20 points per game for two straight seasons, but his playing time and production dipped in the 2022 playoffs before an injury last season. Can he transform into an All-Star in his prime? The 6’5 guard must improve his defense and playmaking, which have been slow in developing.
Martin was impactful in their 2023 run to the NBA Finals, and Kyle Lowry gives the Clippers some added playmaking. Two first-round draft picks and two swaps are light for a star like Leonard, but he too could inform the team of his desire to leave in the summer of 2024.
Kawhi Leonard seems more likely to stay than Paul George, but the LA Clippers should explore the market if the Klaw wants out.