Let’s take a second to appreciate what Kawhi has done during his time with the Toronto Raptors. He currently has Toronto deadlocked with the 76ers in the 2nd round of the playoffs. During the four games of the series he is averaging 38 PPG, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. He helped his team achieve the 2nd seed in the East with 58 wins during the regular season. This is all great for the team of the North but is this a one off for Kawhi Leonard. I think we all know if no one joins him then he will seek greener pastures this off season. It is obvious that the full ascension to superstar status has been complete this season. There are a few teams waiting with open wallets to compensate for that as well.
Kawhi has openly said for a few years now the Clippers would be an option when the time was right. After taking the Golden State Warriors six games round one I believe the time may be right. They will have the available money and a gritty hungry core to support his play style. I am sure guys like Lou Williams and the young hungry Montrezl Harrell would jump for joy. Let’s not forget he would be joining another coach that has a title in his resume Doc Rivers. If he chooses the Clippers it immediately makes them a landing sport for a few other key free agents as well.
Here is a possibility that I feel is not likely but has to be brought up. Will LeBron try to set up another one of his dinner dates? Could he sell Kawhi on the fact that someone like Anthony Davis or Kevin Durant could also be on the way? Even if that was the case I believe he is one that does not follow the crowd. I also think helping LeBron get back to the playoffs is about the last thing in his agenda moving forward.
New York Knicks
The Knicks also have to be a wild card IF Kevin Durant decides New York will not be his next destination. I believe they would immediately pivot and throw one of those two max contracts available right in Leonard’s face. The Durant domino would have to be the first to fall the wrong way for this to be a possibility though. I currently believe Durant will end up in New York though. Still have a long summer ahead.
Wild Wild Summer
Kawhi Leonard will be at the forefront of a very loaded NBA talent pool available this off season. The picture will clear up a bit after we see what goes on in the 2019 NBA Draft. If the Raprtors somehow keep him then they should consider themselves lucky. I just don’t see what would be appealing enough to keep him there longer that this season though.
Quick Writers Note: What a series we have gotten between Denver and Portland so far. Like I have screamed from rooftops Jokic is a superstar.