Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard Drops Cryptic Hint about his Free-Agency Plans

Published 12/22/2020, 3:18 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 20: L.A. Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates donation of One Million backpacks from Baby2Baby, Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers to students across Los Angeles at 107th Street Elementary on August 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)


Kawhi Leonard will be hoping to redeem himself this season. The former two-time Finals MVP signed with the LA Clippers in the off-season last year. The Clippers even acquired multiple-time All-Star Paul George to pair up with him and bring a championship to the Clippers.

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Kawhi Leonard spoke about the start of the new season. However, he dropped a bombshell about his plans for the next off-season and said, “I’m just focused on this season. Not saying I’m going anywhere else or staying here. If I stay healthy, the best decision is to decline the player option, but that doesn’t mean I’m leaving or staying. We’ll talk about that when the time is right.”

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Kawhi’s admission about free agency comes as a bit of a shock. The Clippers did everything asked of them in order to get Kawhi Leonard. And the idea that he may leave just two seasons after arriving in Los Angeles is a frightening prospect for the Clippers’ front office.

Kawhi Leonard – Free agent next year?

In the meantime, Paul George signed a massive contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers. Their front office was able to breathe a sigh of relief, as George also had the option of entering free-agency next season under the terms of his previous contract.

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Dec 11, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) guards Los Angeles Lakers center Los Angeles Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Given how many assets the Clippers parted ways with to acquire Paul George mostly at the behest of Kawhi Leonard, the idea of either leaving can be a problem. Additionally, the two have disappointed since arriving at the Clippers.

During the playoffs, the Clippers lost to the Nuggets in seven games. This was shocking, as the Clippers were considered title favorites, and held a 3-1 lead over the Nuggets. The loss to the Nuggets sent the Clippers into a frenzy. They fired Doc Rivers in the off-season and lost Montrezl Harrell to their rivals, the Lakers.

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It remains to be seen what Kawhi Leonard does this year. After a disappointing first season with the Clippers, Leonard will want to prove that he was worth everything that the Clippers sacrificed to get him. Kawhi’s Clippers play the Lakers on the opening night of the NBA tomorrow.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1149 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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