While the idea of Kawhi Leonard's free agency sounds exciting, executives around the league believe it won't be.
According to a report from The Athletic's Sam Amick and John Hollinger, Leonard is expected to re-sign with the Clippers.
"Leonard is still widely, well, expected to re-sign with the Clippers," said The Athletic's report. "As it stands, that's the word from Clipper sources and rival executives alike."
There have been rumblings of the idea that he would be interested in looking at the Miami Heat, but that's nothing except conjecture. The idea that Leonard would be interested in looking at other teams is a pure assumption. Yes, if the Clippers get eliminated early, Leonard will definitely hear out other teams—it would be dumb not to. However, no one knows how seriously he would take offers or the validity of it. There's no real substance other than teams thinking and hoping they might have a chance, which gets turned into rumor.
Before the season started, Leonard made a rare comment about his contract for the 2021 offseason.
"Obviously, if I'm healthy, the best decision is to decline the player option," Leonard said. "But that doesn't mean I'm leaving or staying. I'm focused on the season, like I said. We'll talk about that when the time is right."
This is a very standard move for players. It's something Anthony Davis just did last offseason. Opting in would allow Leonard to make $36 million in 2021-22, but opting out would allow him to earn even more.However, nothing is certain in the NBA, and the Clippers definitely need to advance far in the playoffs in order to minimize any potential unhappiness from their superstar.
However, nothing is certain in the NBA, and the Clippers definitely need to advance deep into the playoffs to minimize any potential unhappiness from their leading superstar.