Kawhi Leonard injury improves the Dallas Mavericks standing in the West
The Mavericks jump up in the Western Conference standings when factoring in Kawhi’s injury. Dallas wants to push into title contention next season. No matter where Leonard ends up this offseason, he will not be playing until mid-January. That means at minimum Kawhi is out 40 games.
The Clippers are going to lose Leonard in some fashion. If he departs via free agency, that is enough for the Mavs to pass them in the standings. Kawhi staying in LA means his team has to play without him for 40 games. The Clippers will struggle to keep up minus the Klaw. Dallas should be ahead of the LA Clippers in the standings no matter what decision Leonard makes in free agency.
The Western Conference is shaping up nicely for the Mavericks next season. Jamal Murray will most of the season recovering from his ACL surgery. Can the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns repeat their stellar performances? The Lakers figure to jump back up, but the door is open for the Dallas Mavericks to have the top regular-season record in the Western Conference. Doing so would be massive for Luka Doncic and his teammates.
Kawhi Leonard missing extended time makes Dallas favorites to have homecourt in at least the first round. If the Mavericks make the right moves this summer, they can be a bona fide title contenders immediately.
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