Kawhi Leonard has not played a game for the Los Angeles Clippers thus far this season. That is due to the fact that he has been working on a return from an ACL injury.
It has previously been thought that Kawhi Leonard would remain out with the injury for the entirety of the season. ACL injuries notably take a really long time to get over fully. However, according to ESPN's Mark Jones, it is possible that Kawhi Leonard will return during the 2021-22 season.
I spoke with [Kawhi] Leonard last week and he has thoughts of perhaps coming back to this team this year before the season's over
A Kawhi Leonard return would certainly be beneficial to the Los Angeles Clippers, as long as they secure a playoff spot this season. The Clippers are currently 17-15 and 5th in the Western Conference, and they look like they are in a position to make the playoffs outright and avoid the play-in tournament. It's still relatively early in the season, but the Clippers have done very well even with Paul George being the only star on the roster.
The Los Angeles Clippers managed to get to within two games of the NBA Finals even without Kawhi Leonard for part of the postseason, and with Kawhi Leonard they look to be one of the more formidable teams in the Western Conference. The Clippers with a healthy Leonard are a contender, and there's no doubt that Kawhi Leonard is a superstar who can be the No. 1 option on a championship team. Perhaps his return will put them on the level of the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors, who have been neck and neck in the standings.
Paul George is a superstar that can be the leading player for a franchise, but the Clippers need Kawhi Leonard to truly compete. Hopefully, we see Leonard's return become a reality, but obviously his health is the biggest priority.