Kawhi Leonard’s latest statements seem to be a heartbreak in waiting for Clippers fans. The Klaw said he’d likely turn down his player option after this season.
If 2019-20 wasn’t a make-or-break season for the Clippers, 2020-21 certainly will be. They have Paul George locked in for 6 more years. Their sights have to be set on a championship this time around. Unlike last time, Kawhi will want to make sure the team doesn’t falter in the playoffs.
The Lakers and the Clippers presented studies in stark contrast to each other. Despite acquiring arguably the best big man in the game, the Lakers were more of a sleeper team than favorites. The Clippers, on the other hand, were vaunted by many as favorites to emerge from the West.
Their second round exit and the ignominy that followed has left people skeptical of the franchise. Kawhi Leonard will be aiming to restore the pride and fanfare around them.
Kawhi Leonard dodges questions regarding free agency and Clippers future
Kawhi was as coy as they come in giving bland non-answers to the press once again:
“I don’t see anyone pretty much focused on themselves. Everyone trying to buy in on the team concepts. … We want to make an emphasis of everybody being a winner in their role.”
He did, however, drop a teasing soundbyte when he added:
“If I stay healthy, the best decision is to decline the player option but it doesn’t mean I’m staying or leaving.”
Kawhi Leonard, referencing his own potential free agency, said he’s “just focused on this season.”
Added that: “If I stay healthy, the best decision is to decline the player option but it doesn’t mean I’m staying or leaving.”
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) December 21, 2020
The Lakers will be receiving their championship rings with Kawhi applauding them from the sidelines. The thought will have lit a fire under the Clippers.