The Los Angeles Clippers were believed to be a favorite landing spot for Kawhi Leonard this NBA offseason – that was until the Toronto Raptors made a big run in the postseason wars. Making matters worse for the Clips is the fact that Leonard could end up being an NBA champion this week – perhaps something most never envisioned when the 2018-19 NBA season unfurled.
As things stand now, the plans of Leonard this summer may have just altered. Currently holding a commanding 3-1 lead over the defending champion Golden State Warriors, one more win could determine the fate of the 27-year-old’s next move. An NBA title and ring could very well convince him to stay in Toronto, dousing the hope of several NBA teams who were hoping to lure him to their respective folds.
Hence, expect the Clippers to be among the throng of NBA fans closely monitoring the Raptors vs. Warriors finals. With a lot of the Dubs’ stars not at 100-percent, the Raptors could be championed as early as game 5. Add to the fact that they are playing at home makes it doubly hard for Steve Kerr and company although they said they will take it one game at a time.
Unsurprisingly, several teams have tried to goat Leonard into free agency plans. And like other NBA stars who were thrown that question at crucial stages the 6-foot-7 forward offered the usual stoic face and said that he is just focused on the task at hand and revisit everything once the 2018-19 NBA Finals is over, NBC sports reported.
Somehow, that could be a (minimal) sigh of relief for the Clippers. But then again, Doc Rivers and company need to do the necessary and prepare for plan B in the event that Leonard sticks with the Raptors or possibly decide to hook up with someone else. Of the two, the former seems more plausible.
According to the Athletic, the Clippers remain confident of their chances on Leonard although the team has been spending a lot of time meeting up to prepare for certain scenarios. At the top of all that is the looming though of the former NBA Finals MVP re-signing with the Raptors where he could likely be given a lucrative contract moving forward. If that were the case, Rivers and the Clips may need to do some revisiting of their own – other top names in 2019 NBA Free Agency.