A massive trade proposal has the Los Angeles Clippers dealing franchise star Kawhi Leonard to a Western Conference juggernaut.
In the 2021 offseason, the two-time NBA Finals MVP and champion signed a four-year extension with the Clippers worth $176 million. Leonard can opt out of his contract after this upcoming season and enter free agency in 2024.
If the Clippers aren’t playing like a playoff contender leading up to the 2024 trade deadline, could the front office decide to part ways with its franchise player?
Eddie Bitar of Fadeaway World proposed a massive trade idea that has the Clippers dealing Leonard to the Pacific Division rival Golden State Warriors in exchange for two-way stalwart Andrew Wiggins, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, Gary Payton II plus 2025 and 2027 first-round picks:
“Kawhi Leonard is still in his prime at 32 years old and is clearly a more dominant two-way player than Wiggins and the best perimeter defender available right now, meaning Golden State could take another step forward with a blockbuster deal of this caliber…
A lineup of Curry, Klay, Leonard, Green, and Looney will likely return to the Finals and win it all as soon as next year. This will be the same team as the 2017 and 2018 Warriors with Kevin Durant except with slightly more defense and more risk since Kawhi has yet to remain healthy. The Warriors need to go all-in now since Curry is nearly 36 years old, and Leonard is that guy.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers rebuild with four rotational pieces around Paul George and Norman Powell while also gaining two first-round picks for future assets. Even if the Clippers might be happy to rid themselves of Leonard, Golden State wins this deal with a championship window open for a few more seasons.”
If the Warriors somehow landed Leonard to join a lineup with four future Hall of Famers in Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Chris Paul, they would be the overwhelming favorites to win the NBA Championship by a country mile.
The Clippers landed Leonard (via free agency) and Paul George (via trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder) in the summer of 2019, hoping the duo would carry the franchise to its first championship. With this super duo, however, LA has only won three playoff series.
So one could make a case that they’re better off trading Leonard and/or George as a way to shake up the roster. If Leonard ends up hitting the trade block? Of course the Warriors make sense as a landing spot.
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