Kawhi Leonard capped off another disappointing season with the Los Angeles Clippers last week by missing his team’s last three playoff outings.
L.A. was swiftly bounced from the proceedings by the Phoenix Suns, 4-1.
When Leonard first arrived in Los Angeles there was a ton of optimism about what he and Paul George would be able to achieve. On paper, they looked like a fierce duo.
Unfortunately, between nonstop injuries and off-the-court drama, the pair has yet to do anything of note together. This year was just their most recent failure.
This week, FOX Sports personality Skip Bayless took to the air and suggested that a trade could be on the horizon.
“Now I’m told, Kawhi might be ready to consider moving to another organization,” Bayless said.
“He’s under contract with the Clippers at age 32 for $46. Next year, at age 33, he will have a player option. It’s possible he’ll demand a trade ahead of next season or ahead of next season’s trade deadline.
“Or might he wait until after next season when he can just flat-out hit the open market?”
The problem with Leonard isn’t just that he gets hurt, it’s that he gets hurt in the most dramatic way imaginable. Whereas when George gets injured it is in a very standard NBA way, Leonard’s ailments always come with a lot of issues.
Namely, Leonard likes to nurse his injuries longer than his teams typically feel is necessary – which leads to contentious back and forth arguments on his return time and how his issues need to be managed. It has happened repeatedly – with multiple franchises.
It’s a mess. Plus, in addition to that standard fare with him, Leonard was also mired in other controversy this season, like his sister’s legal woes and her eventually getting sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
According to leaked reports, the Clippers were a disaster this season. Leonard battled the organization, Ty Lue was hated – it was ugly all around.
Aaron Rodgers and Mallory Edens had themselves a good time. https://t.co/h9PFoH2iYA
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 29, 2023
It’s hard to see how the situation gets fixed without a major move.
And the biggest return L.A. could possibly command right now would likely involve their best player being dealt.
Will the Clippers genuinely give some consideration to trading Leonard before he can leave them on his own? An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.