The Los Angeles Clippers are making it very clear that they’re going to make a strong push for superstar Kawhi Leonard next season. In fact, it’s safe to say that they’re going “all in” to acquire him.
This is no surprise, as the Clippers are suddenly an extremely attractive fit for impending free agents. They do play under the bright lights at Staples center, and Los Angeles is where many stars want to be. And the Clippers have been competitive this season, with a nice young core to build on. Right now, they’re currently in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, although it remains to be seen how long they’ll able to hold down that spot.
The Raptors traded for Leonard over the summer, with general manager Masai Ujiri convinced he’ll be able to re-sign the superstar, rather than him being a rental. Realistically, there may only be one team that could prevent that from happening — the Clippers. Toronto is well aware of that fact, given that Los Angeles is sending scouts to the majority of Raptors home games at Scotiabank Arena, according to this report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“The Clippers are rather transparently obsessed with chasing Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant in free agency next summer.”
“But even by these modern standards, the Clippers’ pursuit is still a little revolutionary. Raptors officials have noticed a Clippers employee at roughly 75 percent of the team’s games thus far this season. Clippers officials say they’ve been at less than 50 percent of Leonard’s games. There have been games they attended where Leonard rested. That has included president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, which is rare. Presidents and general managers are almost never seen attending a game that doesn’t involve their teams.”
Leonard is a hot commodity. It would be interesting to know what he thinks about all this. Everyone wants to feel “wanted,” and Leonard certainly is.