When Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers in 2019, many believed it was his final move.
With the Clippers, he gets the chance to play at home, surrounded by family, alongside a roster poised to contend for years to come.
And while the franchise has come up empty in the two years they've had Kawhi, there's no reason to think the 2x Finals MVP is looking for a new home.
But in a recent report by The New York Times' Marc Stein, he squashes that line of thinking. Apparently, according to Stein, Leonard is no longer considered a "lock" to stay with his current team.
The most likely scenario, league sources say, remains Leonard opting out to re-sign with the Clippers — or, in Steve Ballmer’s worst nightmare, to shock the league by signing elsewhere. Leonard’s well-known affinity for Southern California has led various rival front offices to presume that he would have no interest in switching teams for the third time, but the notion that Leonard is unattainable seems to be waning a bit as the Aug. 2 start of free agency nears.
As crazy as it seems to imagine Kawhi Leonard switching jerseys again, there's really no way to know what the guy is thinking. As one of the most private and reserved stars in the entire NBA, he keeps his off-season motivations and thinking a closely guarded secret.
Nevertheless, teams around the league are hinting that he might be available after all, even if the Clippers are still favored to re-sign him.
As one of the best two-way players in the game, Leonard appeals to every team, and he will have his pick of the punch should he decide to leave.
Leonard, who turned 30 this month, is coming off a spectacular season with averages of 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game on 51% shooting.
Dallas, New York, and Miami are expected to be the leading contenders for his services.