The Clippers are less than one year removed from one of the most embarrassing playoff exits in franchise history — which says a lot, given their track record — yet the rumor mill is already suggesting their biggest star will remain with them in the years to come.
Kawhi Leonard is still only 29 years old, in his prime, and if he does choose to test the free-agent market this summer, he’d have plenty of suitors. Not only that, he could potentially pair up with all the other big names that could be on the market — Victor Oladipo, Chris Paul and John Collins possibly among them — and form a superteam somewhere else.
But one recent report from The Athletic suggests he won’t be leaving Los Angeles anytime soon, and will be re-signing with the Clippers this summer. It reads:
“Leonard is still widely, well, expected to re-sign with the Clippers. As it stands, that’s the word from Clippers sources and rival executives alike.”
This seems a bit premature, and we believe that Leonard will wait to make his decision until after the playoffs conclude, with Ty Lue in his first year as the team’s head coach. Leonard has endorsed Lue in the past, but we still think he may keep his options open.
When sorting through rumors like this, it’s important to consider who the source may be. It appears that it’s the Clippers leaking this story, in an attempt to push Leonard into re-signing. But if we do hear from Leonard’s camp, then that’s a good sign for the team going forward.