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#pounditThursday, December 1, 2022

NBA execs make predictions about Kawhi Leonard’s free agency

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard could once again make himself the story of the NBA offseason if he opts out of his contract and tests free agency. While he will almost certainly do the former, very few people believe he is planning to leave the Los Angeles Clippers.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype spoke with several NBA executives who all agreed that Leonard will re-sign with the Clippers after opting out of the $36 million he is owed for next season. The belief is that Leonard will not want to bail on Paul George and Ty Lue, who is coming off his first season as head coach of the Clippers.

“You’ve got to give it another chance, I think,” one executive said. “They just hired Ty Lue for this group. It wasn’t a normal season. You’ve got to give it a normal season a chance first, I’d think.”

Another executive said both Leonard and George “want to be in L.A.,” so it is more likely that the Clippers will make some changes around them.

Leonard is the one who wanted George to play with him in Los Angeles, so it would be a surprise if he wanted to give up on that after just two seasons. It’s also hard to say how far the Clippers could have gotten this year if Leonard didn’t hurt his knee in the postseason.

We know of one team that is viewed as a potential threat to steal Leonard away from the Clippers, but the odds heavily favor the two-time NBA Finals MVP staying right where he is.

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