The rumor mill will never stop churning, will it? Despite all arrows pointing to superstar Kawhi Leonard re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers this coming offseason, some analysts are saying other teams may make a play for the two-time NBA champion — and they’re naming names.
The latest rumor to make the rounds on Twitter has Leonard getting pursued in free agency by the Golden State Warriors. Evan Massey of HoopAnalysisNet — who is not a credible team source or trusted NBA news breaker by any means — started the rumor, which has not been confirmed by any major or mainstream NBA source. While the thought of Leonard teaming up with the likes of Steph Curry is an intriguing one, it’s highly unlikely, which Massey states himself — but that didn’t stop Twitter from taking the rumor and running with it.
REPORT: The Warriors are expected to pursue Kawhi Leonard in free agency, via @massey_evan
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 12, 2021
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 12, 2021
— 𝙆𝙡𝙖𝙮𝙁𝙤𝙧𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙮 🥀🖤 (@KlayForTrey) April 13, 2021
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Credible Reports Have Leonard Re-Signing to Clippers
An April 7 report by of The Athletic gave Clipper Nation a ton of hope regarding Leonard’s future with the team.
“Barring a dramatic turn of events in these coming months, it’s looking like this Leonard free agency will be decidedly less dramatic. While this league has certainly taught us to expect the unexpected, the truth is that Leonard is still widely, well, expected to re-sign with the Clippers. As it stands, that’s the word from Clippers sources and rival executives alike,” Amick and
For his part, Leonard told the Los Angeles Times before the season began in December that he wasn’t about to reveal his plans, although he did mention potentially declining his player option. “Obviously, if I’m healthy, the best decision is to decline the player option. But that doesn’t mean I’m leaving or staying. I’m focused on the season, like I said. We’ll talk about that when the time is right,” he said.
Heat Have Also Been Linked to Leonard in Free Agency — Per Massey
Massey has had a busy first few weeks of April when it comes to speculating about Leonard’s pending free agency. “One NBA agent spoke to NBA Analysis Network about Leonard’s future and the possibility that he could leave the Clippers. He stated that the Heat would ‘intrigue’ Leonard on the open market,” he wrote on April 5.
Massey also stated that the NBA agent told him Leonard “could very well listen to pitches from other teams. That is something that he is considering. If that does end up being the case, he would be intrigued at the possibility of joining the Miami Heat. Joining forces with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo is something that he would absolutely have interest in.”
Leonard is currently averaging 26.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and a career-high 5.0 assists per game, but his stats won’t matter as much as how well the Clips perform in the postseason, which could go far in determining where he chooses to play. If L.A. makes an early exit in the playoffs, expect teams like the Heat to take swings at the five-time NBA All-Star — and expect him to listen to their offers. But all signs point to the Clippers doing everything they can to keep Kawhi around for as long as possible.
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