NBA Rumors: Signing Kawhi Leonard In 2021 Free Agency ‘Not Out Of The Question’ For Miami Heat
In a recent article, Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports reported on the teams that were preserving salary cap space to chase Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2021 free agency. One of those teams are the Miami Heat. Since the successful acquisition of Jimmy Butler last summer, the Heat have been active on the market, searching for another star player to boost their chances of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and end years of title drought.
Though Antetokounmpo recently signed a massive contract extension with the Bucks, Rohrbach believes that the Heat shouldn’t give up on their hopes of adding another superstar to their roster. There will still be some interesting names in the free agency market next offseason, including Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers. If the Clippers fail to win a championship and Leonard starts looking for a way out, Rohrbach thinks that signing “The Klaw” is “not out of the question” for the Heat.
“It may still be worth the cost to add a third star of any ilk alongside [Bam] Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, considering how close they came to winning a championship without one. But the free-agent talent pool is shallow if Kawhi Leonard returns to the Los Angeles Clippers. Remember, Leonard reached out to Jimmy Butler about a potential partnership in L.A. before the focus turned to Paul George, so recreating that scenario is not out of the question if the chemistry on the Clippers remains sour.”
There’s indeed a realistic chance for Leonard to part ways with the Clippers next summer. He may remain committed to the Clippers right now, but if they fail to live up to expectations from a legitimate title contender once again, he may start to realize that Paul George isn’t the player to help him win his third championship ring. As Rohrbach noted, George wasn’t the only player that Leonard tried to recruit to the Clippers last offseason, as he’d also talked to Butler.
Bringing Leonard to South Beach won’t be easy for the Heat. With their limited salary cap space, they would have to engage in a sign-and-trade deal with the Clippers to create enough room for “The Klaw.” However, if they manage to acquire him, they would no doubt become the heavy favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals every year. Leonard would not only give Miami a very reliable scorer, but also one of the best defenders in the league.
Aside from Leonard, other big names that Miami could target next offseason include Jrue Holiday of the Bucks and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.