3 Superstars Clippers could have acquired over Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

Back in 2019, there were several other top-tier players the Clippers could have had instead of their current duo.
Norman Powell, Kevin Durant
Norman Powell, Kevin Durant / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The LA Clippers stand as a perennial Western Conference playoff contender in 2024 thanks to some massive decisions made nearly half a decade ago. In July of 2019, the Clips were coming off a 48-win season where Lou Williams won his third Sixth Man of the Year award. It was a fun group, but one with some obvious limitations that was not going to be able to take them to a championship.

Realizing this, the front office had a choice to make. With an offseason featuring some massive names on the free agent market upcoming, the Clippers had several targets they could pursue. Of course, they opted to go after the biggest name at the time, the reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. We would later learn that he was never going to become a Clipper without the assurance that his preferred running mate, Paul George, would also be there.

The last five seasons have been full of ups and downs with this duo at the helm, but the Clippers have still fallen short of their ultimate goal of capturing an NBA championship. Which leads us to wonder, what if the team had gone in another direction in 2019? Looking back on that offseason, there were several other high-level targets LA could have made a move for instead of Leonard and George.

1. Kyrie Irving

One of the other big free agents that summer was Kyrie Irving. Having just finished up his second season with the Celtics, things had not exactly gone according to plan for the star point guard. His production was still considerable at 23.8 points and a career-high 6.9 assists per game, but there were real questions about how happy he was in Boston.

After being injured for the team's run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018, Irving played below his standards as the Celtics fell to the Bucks in five games in the second round in 2019. Desiring a change of scenery, Kyrie signed a four-year deal with the Nets. With Kevin Durant joining him, the two formed one of the best duos in the association in Brooklyn.

The Clippers could just as easily have tried to sign Irving in that same offseason. Of course, now we know that the ramifications of doing so could have been less than desirable, with Kyrie missing extended time due to personal reasons over the next several seasons. All things considered, they probably made the right choice not signing him.