REPORT: Adrian Wojnarowski says Clippers will be ‘aggressive suitors’ for Kawhi Leonard next summer
“Before the Toronto Raptors traded with San Antonio for Leonard in July, the Clippers tried to acquire him and plan to be aggressive suitors for Leonard in 2019 free agency. Leonard is primarily interested in signing with the Lakers or Clippers in July, league sources tell ESPN.”
It became clear that the Clippers had their sights set on Kawhi when they let go of television analyst Bruce Bowen in the wake of his critical comments of Leonard. They weren’t necessarily hiding their desire to add Leonard via free agency or trade beforehand, but Wojnarowski’s sources confirm their aggressive mentality.
Leonard is a native of Los Angeles and it’s widely speculated that he wanted to return to sunny California. Now that he’s in Toronto, his future is uncertain. There are no guarantees that he re-signs with the Raptors, but the organization is hoping they can spend this year convincing him to remain up north much like Oklahoma City did with Paul George.
The Clippers won’t be the only team aggressively pursuing Kawhi next offseason. It’s very likely that they’re hometown rivals the Lakers will be major players as well. And representing the East coast, the Knicks and Nets will both have cap space (and the big market) that could possibly entice Leonard to sign in the Big Apple.
The 2019 offseason is far off, but the Clippers are already positioning themselves to be a major player for the services of Kawhi Leonard.