It’s what we have been reporting at NBC Sports throughout this process: Other teams will make calls, but nearly every source around the league I have spoken with expects Kawhi Leonard to remain a Los Angeles Clipper.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said he has not heard anything about Leonard wanting to leave Los Angeles, a topic that came up on The Woj & Lowe Free Agency Special the network aired Sunday (hat tip Bleacher Report).
“I’ve got no indication that Kawhi Leonard is interested in doing anything besides re-signing with the Clippers and rehabbing that injury…
“The way they are proceeding, certainly seems to be with Kawhi Leonard in mind,” Wojnarowski said of the Clippers.
Leonard will likely miss most, if not all, of next season after suffering a partially torn ACL during the playoffs. However, that will not change the max offer the Clippers and other teams would put in front of him if — and more likely when — he opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent. The Clippers can offer larger raises and more years than any other team.
No doubt the Heat, Knicks, Mavericks, and probably a couple of other teams will make a call to check on Leonard. And a team leaking that it made those calls ensures the fan base sees just how hard the GM is trying.
However, after how hard he worked to get back to Southern California, after how much this franchise has let him “be himself” and dictate rest/rehab times and more, considering how badly owner Steve Ballmer wants to win and is willing to pay for it, and after the run to the Western Conference Finals this team made, it’s hard to see Leonard bolting town.
Not that this will stop the rumors, just know action isn’t likely to follow.