The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly interested in trading for San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard this summer. According to FanSided’s Clipperholics, the other Hollywood team could offer DeAndre Jordan and their 2018 first-round draft pick to the Spurs for the former NBA Finals MVP.
Leonard, a native of Los Angeles, is still out in New York rehabbing the injured quadriceps that made him miss 73 games this season while the Spurs battle the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. The situation had drawn the attention of fans and media alike, and most are wondering what is really happening between the club and player.
The NBA’s official website recently reported that Leonard is “not expected to return” in the postseason, which means that San Antonio would have to try and compete without the two-time NBA All-Star moving forward. The Spurs were blown out by the Warriors, 113-92, in Game 1 on Saturday, and Leonard’s absence was evident.
Talks of a potential trade this summer has grown louder as each day passes and according to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the Clippers have emerged as another potential trade destination for Leonard. The reporter said that Leonard has long been a favorite of Clippers consultant Jerry West and that the team is prepared to pay a “hefty price” to get him.
Clipperholics’ Ryan Snellings listed “three possible trade packages” the Clippers could offer the Spurs, and one of them is a suggested straight swap between Leonard and Jordan plus Los Angeles’ first-rounder in the coming June draft. Since both Jordan and Leonard appear to be headed out of their respective squads anyway, the suggested deal actually “makes sense for both parties,” the reporter said.
Jordan would be an ideal frontcourt partner for LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio as the two bigs have contrasting basketball styles that complement well on the court. With this combo, Jordan has more opportunities to operate inside the lane while Aldridge would remain in his sweet spot around the perimeter.
The one-time All-Star also upgrades the Spurs’ rim protection and interior defense, something that Aldridge and Pau Gasol have not provided well for Gregg Popovich’s squad.
Meanwhile, Leonard could finally take his talent somewhere else, which seems to be what he was looking for all this time. After ending their Big Three era, L.A. would also get the chance to rebuild around Leonard, who at 26-years-old is still entering his prime.
The Clippers still have one more lottery pick left (via Detroit), which means that they still have a chance to select in the first round of the 2018 draft even if this trade pushes through.