RUMOR: Jimmy Butler would love to play on the Clippers alongside Kawhi Leonard
Both Butler and Leonard can become unrestricted free agents after this season ends if they decline their 2019-20 player options with their respective teams and have been linked to joining the Clippers.
When Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Clippers were reportedly one of the teams he preferred to be traded to. Same thing with Kawhi Leonard, who reportedly told the San Antonio Spurs he wanted to be traded to Los Angeles last summer.
Ultimately, neither All-Star got their wish, as Butler was sent to Philadelphia and Leonard was sent to Toronto. The Clippers, though, will potentially have cap space to sign both players in the summer and are expected to heavily pursue them once the free agency period starts on July 1, 2019.
Leonard is from California, and if the two-time Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t re-sign with the Raptors, there is a strong chance he goes to LA and joins the Clippers instead of the Lakers. There have been rumors stating that Leonard doesn’t want to play with LeBron James and deal with all the media hoopla that goes with playing with The King.
Butler has played in 24 games with the Sixers. The four-time All-Star is averaging 18.8 points in Philly and shooting 47.0 percent from the field.
Leonard, meanwhile, is putting up MVP-type numbers with the Raptors, as Kawhi is averaging 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists with Toronto.