What Do The Clippers Need To Do To Keep Kawhi Leonard Happy?

What Do The Clippers Need To Do To Keep Kawhi Leonard Happy?
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 24: Paul George #13 hi-fives Nicolas Batum #33 of the LA Clippers during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 24, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

When the Los Angeles Clippers brought in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the summer of 2019, heads were turned. The sky was the limit for this fearsome duo looking to win a championship in Los Angeles. However, things have not gone to plan thus far. An embarrassing second-round playoff exit to the Nuggets stopped them from reaching the finals. Now, fourth place in the West, the Clippers look set to miss the NBA finals once again. However, perhaps as big a worry is if Kawhi Leonard will opt-in this offseason if Tyronn Lue‘s squad can’t compete at the bigger stage. Something needs to happen quickly if the Los Angeles Clippers wish to keep their star. Here’s what the Clippers must do to ensure their major risk doesn’t go to waste.

Trade For Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry has the offensive creativity the Clippers need. The Toronto Raptors seem willing to let him leave for the right price as Toronto seems to be on the decline. Lowry has expressed interest in joining a contender and coming to LA would be a perfect fit. His smart ball-handling and game IQ will translate well at the Staples Center and can significantly strengthen the backcourt. The six-foot guard is additionally a smart defender and can improve the seemingly vulnerable defense at the guard position.

Sign Andre Drummond When The Time Comes

Andre Drummond fits the Clippers’ needs very well. LA is currently 21st in blocks in the NBA and struggling in the paint as a whole. Andre Drummond offers top-tier rebounding and shot-blocking. The center puts up 18 points per game on 13 rebounds as well. Once the Cleveland Cavaliers inevitably buy-out his contract, he’ll be free to leave. The Clippers, who are lacking many pieces to trade for a third star, could take advantage of the murky situation in Ohio.

What Now?

If the Clippers manage to bring in these two players, their roster will look much stronger. With a potential rotation of Kyle Lowry and Paul George occupying the guard positions and Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, and Andre Drummond as the forwards, this side will surely be the best defensive team in the league. Off the bench, Tyronn Lue will have the luxury of bringing in Serge IbakaMarcus Morris, and Lou Williams. Defensively, this side will be impenetrable and may have the tools to take themselves to the finals. Offensively, with the likes of Drummond, Leonard, and Paul George, Los Angeles will undoubtedly find no difficulty in finding a good rhythm.

What If The Clippers Fail To Put Together The Stronger Side Of LA?

Currently, it seems obvious the Clippers aren’t a contender. With the likes of the Lakers, Suns, and Jazz all currently ahead, their side simply doesn’t look strong enough. Kawhi Leonard may look elsewhere over the off-season and use his player option to leave. If this happens, the Clippers will be in a dangerous position where they lack enough picks to properly rebuild, and won’t have enough assets to trade for a star. Kawhi Leonard is a super-star and needs to be convinced very soon that he is where he needs to be to reclaim the NBA title.

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