NBA Rumors: LA Clippers Could Target ‘Third Star’ If Kawhi Leonard And Paul George Stay In 2021 Free Agency

Kawhi Leonard #2 is congratulated by Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of a game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on November 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

The successful acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last summer undeniably saved the Los Angeles Clippers from being mired in mediocrity. However, based on the contracts that they in 2019’s NBA free agency period, Leonard and George have the power to decide whether they still want to stay in Los Angeles or play somewhere else after the 2020-21 NBA season. If Leonard and George continue their partnership in Los Angeles, the Clippers are expected to become more aggressive in upgrading their roster.

According to Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated, the Clippers may consider targeting a third superstar if their two best players opt in or ink new deals free agency. Compared to their Western Conference rivals and Staples Center co-tenants, the Los Angeles Lakers, Shapiro believes that the Clippers still have enough trade assets to pull a blockbuster deal in the summer of 2021.

“The Clippers still have chips to cash in. Landry Shamet and Patrick Beverley are under contract until July 2022. Ivica Zubac’s deal lasts through 2022-23. Los Angeles could also re-sign Montrezl Harrell this summer, then trade him in future seasons. If Leonard and George commit to the Clippers again after 2020-21, they could quickly move to acquire a third star, fueling the Western Conference’s next dynasty. “

It wouldn’t really be a surprise if the Clippers decide to target another superstar in the 2021 NBA offseason. The Clippers may currently be considered as the heavy favorite to dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship title, but they can’t be overconfident that they would maintain that status in the years to come. The Lakers aren’t the only NBA team that the Clippers should be worried about in the West; they also need to keep the reigning conference champions, the Golden State Warriors, on their radar.

After suffering a huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Warriors are expected to explore ways that could help them immediately return to title contention and revive their dynasty. Aside from making sure that their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will be in perfect shape before the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, rumors are circulating that the Warriors are also planning to target a fourth superstar this summer.

Successfully acquiring a third superstar that complements Leonard and George would ensure that the Clippers would remain a team to fear in the Western Conference no matter what type of moves their rivals make. However, in any blockbuster deal, the Clippers should make sure that it would be worth giving up their assets and sacrificing their quality veterans.