The Dallas Mavericks had the LA Clippers on the ropes twice in their first-round playoff series. They won the first two games at Staples Center, but Kawhi Leonard responded with two outstanding games in Dallas to even the series. The Mavs won a third game in LA, but Kawhi responded with 45 in Game 6 and a near triple-double in Game 7 to help the Clippers advance. The 30-year-old superstar was forced to guard Luka Doncic late in the series. His outstanding play on both ends lifted LA to the second round.
Leonard suffered a knee injury during Game 4 of their second-round series against the Utah Jazz. Paul George led the Clippers to the Western Conference Finals, but they could not overcome Kawhi’s absences to top the Suns. The five-time All-Star will be looking to get healthy this summer but has a massive decision to make.
Kawhi has a $36 million player option for next season. It makes no sense for a 30-year-old at the peak of his powers to opt-in. Leonard will be searching for a new contract. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor did a fantastic piece on the Clippers’ future where he dropped a Leonard bombshell involving the Mavericks. Let us take a closer look.
Rumors: Dallas Mavericks to push for Kawhi Leonard this offseason
O’Connor prefaces by saying that nobody knows what Kawhi is going to do. He names the Mavs, Heat, and Knicks as the three teams’ hottest on Leonard. O’Connor follows by saying, “Dallas is considered by some executives to be the most serious threat to land Kawhi because of Luka Doncic’s presence and the front office’s ability to create max cap space or work out a sign-and-trade.” What should fans make of this report?
Every team in the league will be trying to acquire the 30-year-old superstar if he becomes available. Odds still favor Kawhi sticking with the LA Clippers. He is from Los Angeles and has multiple houses there. Leonard took significant time to decide in 2019. The Mavericks would risk being out of options if Kawhi spurned them for another destination.
Still, acquiring one of the five best players in the league is always something worth pursuing. The Mavs want to improve the roster around Luka. Grabbing Kawhi would be a massive win for the team’s new front office.
Dallas Mavericks supporters should not get their hopes up. Acquiring Kawhi Leonard is a long shot. The 30-year-old can choose his team this offseason. Expect the Klaw to be interested in Dallas, but there are no guarantees he makes the move. Keep it locked to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on this story, plus the rumors and analysis fans crave this offseason.