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#pounditSaturday, November 26, 2022

Mavericks a threat to steal Kawhi Leonard from Clippers?

Kawhi Leonard

The Los Angeles Clippers pulled out all the stops two years ago to land Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Now they may have to re-recruit him to convince him not to leave.

Leonard signed a 3-year, $103 million deal with the Clippers in 2019. The deal includes a $36 million player option for next season that Leonard can choose to pick up or decline.

If Leonard decides to decline his option and become a free agent, he will have a few teams in pursuit.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor published a story on Thursday regarding Leonard’s status. He says the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat plan to make a hard push if Kawhi becomes a free agent. He says NBA executives expect the Mavericks to be the biggest contender for Leonard. Dallas’ seeming selling points include teaming with Luka Doncic, the franchise’s ability to create cap space, and Leonard’s supposed positive relationship with the team’s new front office executive.

It would be surprising to see Leonard leave the Clippers after just two seasons. He previously chose them out of every team in the league. They reached the conference finals even without him being available for part of the playoffs. And if things didn’t go well next season, he could always leave then. But stranger things have always happened, so nothing can be ruled out.

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