TrueHoop’s Tom Haberstroh recently reported some tentatively good news for LA Clipper fans.
According to Haberstroh’s league source, the chances of Kawhi Leonard leaving in free agency in a few months are slim to none.
“One non-Clippers executive placed the odds of Leonard leaving L.A. this summer at less than one percent,” Haberstroh wrote.
Leonard has a player option this summer worth $36 million, but, barring any catastrophic injury, he’ll opt out to become an unrestricted free agent. He’s a no-brainer max contract-level player, and LA will no-doubt offer whatever it takes to keep him.
However, Haberstroh clarified that Leonard is a bit of an enigma, and anything is possible in this league.
“No one I talked to really knows what he’s thinking and this is the NBA,” he wrote. “Superstar turnover is the norm.”
There aren’t that many other ideal teams out there for Leonard that have max cap space and a roster that is more championship-ready than the Clippers. However, we saw earlier this season with the Brooklyn Nets, and two summers ago with the Clippers themselves, that teams will be willing to trade their entire treasure chest of draft picks and assets to put together a potential super team.
Clipper fans can find comfort in the fact that Paul George signed a five-year extension this offseason. Regardless of Leonard’s decision, George will remain a Clipper for the forseable future (unless he demands a trade). This security could have an impact Leonard’s decision. If he knows he’ll have an All-Star level talent next to him for the length of his contract, it’ll make him feel much more confident in his choice to stay.