Kawhi Leonard had been treated well by San Antonio Spurs as he was considered the future of the franchise. He named Finals MVP in 2014, back to back defensive player of the year in 2015 and 2016. The Spurs had a great season behind Golden State Warriors in 2017 as they’re up by 25 points in the third quarter until the tragedy happened. Since then, Leonard has just played nine games in limited minutes to make sure he gets back into his form. But the two camps misunderstood each other. The Spurs made the postseason but quickly lost in just five games against the Golden State Warriors. Kawhi Leonard requested a trade and he was sent out to the Toronto Raptors weeks after the 2018 season has been done. The former Defensive Player of the Year makes his way home to Los Angeles but plays with the Clippers despite a championship in Toronto.
With big expectations from the management and the fans, they are highly favored to win the Western Conference or even the NBA Finals. The front office adds a huge talent with Paul George via trade. Los Angeles Clippers already had Lou Williams, Motrezl Harrell, and Patrick Beverly. They had the depth compared to any teams in the league. Clippers are just 24 minutes away to put a showdown in the Western Conference Finals. But they went flat in the second half of the three consecutive games against the Denver Nuggets. They blew a 3-1 lead and suddenly Clippers’ future looks disastrous.
Next season, a team like Golden State Warriors will be back into the contention. While the Los Angeles Clippers don’t have a future first-round pick until 2027. The looming free agency of reigning Sixth Man of the Harrell is already set. Giving him more money will put the team flexibility financially limited to pay good role players.
With more competition next season, another disappointing run could end Leonard’s career in Los Angeles. The two-time champion could opt-out on the final year he signed last summer.
As we enter San Antonio Spurs that could sign for two max players in 2021 free agency. If Kawhi Leonard is available, will the Spurs get interested in him once again? If we presumed that the Spurs will not make a major move next season, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, Rudy Gay, and DeMar DeRozan aren’t on the payroll books. Spurs could court marquee free agency to play in San Antonio. Kawhi Leonard is just a great guy but the lack of leadership is a big issue for him to perform into the next level. Gregg Popovich could still coach the Spurs and whenever he left the team, San Antonio had been ready to take over by somebody with the same philosophy by Pop. With the addition of distraction, the Clippers is not fit with Leonard. While in San Antonio, the media doesn’t focus on the city too much means less distraction. They can really take on one goal, to win every year. He still got more left in the tank when healthy. The organization really prepared themselves well when he left the city. They drafted a guy like Dejounte Murray already becomes the youngest All-Defense team, Derrick White is a playoff performer, Lonnie Walker which shown improvement this season despite having inconsistent on his playing time. Another great prospect Keldon Johnson who got solid in the bubble is a guy pictured to be the Spurs future. Add Kawhi Leonard could be a great team defensively with an excellent leadership guiding him into stardom once again.
The franchise has been known on how good they’re in the draft. Which they will pick 11th this year could be a huge plus. If the Spurs can offer Kawhi Leonard a new fresh start and forget the past he could choose San Antonio to finish his career. They can repair the broken relationship they had just to put the franchise into contention right away.