‘By the Weekend’: Popular Sports Writer Believes Kawhi Leonard to New York Knicks Can be a Real Thing

Published 05/27/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Feb 7, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


It is rare to hear trade rumors in the middle of the NBA playoffs, but that is what’s happening with Kawhi Leonard. As has been the case with the Clippers in the postseason, the 2x NBA Champion is performing well while most of his team is not. So, it is only sane to believe that The Claw would not want to remain stuck with an underperforming unit and would want to find greener pastures. 

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When Kawhi signed with the LA-based team, NBA pundits felt that California being his home state, the star was there to stay. But just two years into the marriage, things might take a downturn. 

Kawhi Leonard to New York Knicks is now the top rumor

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In a recent interview, established sportswriter Frank Isola discussed how the Clippers have been a failed show lately. And while discussing that, he suddenly dropped a signal that Kawhi might leave LA in the time to come. 

The 53-YO writer, who once covered stories exclusively for the Knicks, claimed, “If they end up losing this, with Kawhi with an ability to opt-out, let the Kawhi to the Knicks rumors start by the weekend.”

And how true is that because if the Clippers lose even one of their away games from here, there’s possibly no bouncing back. Plus, the Knicks are largely a very young team that would benefit from the potential arrival of Kawhi as much as the Suns benefitted from Chris Paul.

Also, for The Claw, if he joins the Knicks, he can again function in a low-competition EC and strengthen his chances to at least shoot for a conference title. 

May 16, 2021; Julius Randle celebrates with the head coach after their game against the Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Which are the other teams that might pursue The Claw?

If the Clippers fail this year, Kawhi Leonard might turn down his 2021-22 PO and become a free agent. But by opting out, he can again sign with Steve Ballmer’s team and rake in the maximum 35% cap to his account. However, if he chooses to part ways and hit free agency, he will be the hottest property at 30 years of age. 

Chances are high that the Warriors might want his services because they are yet to fill Kevin Durant’s position in the squad. But is he a player of KD’s level? 

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Frank Isola gave his opinion and added, “The guy is an unbelievable player. He’s 2x FMVP, but let’s remember the championship they won in Toronto that’s great, Kevin Durant only played 12 minutes in that series. The 12 minute his team plays they won. I was in Brooklyn last night and saw Kevin Durant, I saw what LeBron James did last night. if you’re asking me to draft a player today, I’m gonna take LeBron James & Kevin Durant before I take Kawhi Leonard.”

But since none of the two veterans might switch teams, the point of focus is The Claw. And if not GSW, the Clippers killers in Mavericks or his former city (which still loves him) in Toronto might want his talent back. 

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Which city suits Kawhi the most? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1283 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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