A landscape-altering NBA trade proposal would see the Los Angeles Clippers deal away their franchise star to a division rival.
Two-time NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is under contract with the Clippers through next season. He has a player option for the 2024-25 campaign, though it’s highly likely that he’ll decline in with the intention of getting another long-term deal.
The Clippers are in win-now mode with Leonard and fellow future Hall of Famer Paul George on the roster. But if the Clippers aren’t confident in their chances of retaining Leonard long-term, a trade may be the only option for GM Michael Winger.
Over at NBA Analysis Network, James Piercey proposed a blockbuster trade scenario in which the Clippers would send their franchise pillar to the Pacific Division rival Sacramento Kings. In Piercey’s proposal, the Kings would land Leonard in exchange for Richaun Holmes, Keegan Murray, Kevin Huerter, Davion Mitchell plus 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks:
“This may not be the type of return the Clippers would want for Leonard. However, it may be the type of return they get.
By now, his tendency to get hurt has surely depreciated his trade value. Leonard is a risk, and some teams won’t be willing to take it.
With that in mind, the Clippers aren’t getting mere scraps here. All told, this is a rebuilding package that they’d absolutely have to consider.
It’s mainly built around Keegan Murray. He’s been one of the best rookies in the NBA this season.
Throw in Mitchell, Huerter and a pair of first-round picks, and this is a good opportunity for a fresh start for the Clippers.”
There is no indicator that the Clippers are shopping Leonard, nor that he wants out of Los Angeles. Even after he led the Toronto Raptors to the NBA title in 2019, Leonard was always adamant about returning home to play for one of the two LA-based teams.
The Clippers reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2021 despite losing Leonard for the season in round two against the Utah Jazz with a torn ACL. Leonard required surgery and missed the entire 2021-22 season.
Entering play on Wednesday, the Clippers are fifth in the West with a 38-35 record.
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: G/F Kevin Huerter, C Richaun Holmes, F Keegan Murray, G Davion Mitchell, 2025 First-Round Pick (SAC), 2027 First-Round Pick (SAC), 2029 First-Round Pick (SAC)WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.