Former Finals MVP Prefers to Join Heat Over Lakers, per Insider

rob pelinka

Getty Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.

Two years into Kawhi Leonard’s tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers and he doesn’t have much to show for it. The superstar forward scorned the Lakers to play for the other Los Angeles team. When that happened, many thought the Clippers were about to take over as the best team in the city.

In two years, the Lakers have a championship while the Clippers haven’t even made the NBA Finals. The team did put up a valiant effort this year with Leonard missing time due to injury. However, they just didn’t have enough to get past the Phoenix Suns. After a second straight disappointing season, it’s possible that Leonard begins to reevaluate his future. He can be a free agent this offseason should he decline his player option.

If he decides to leave the team, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes that he’d rather go play for the Miami Heat than join up with the Lakers.

“I would see him going some place like Miami before I saw that happening,” Smith said of a possible Lakers signing. “Obviously, he would want his money, and I don’t know how much money the Lakers have to give him. That’s number one.

“But again, when you look at Kawhi Leonard, there’s no questioning his greatness, there’s no questioning his talent, and if you’re going for a championship, he’s your guy. But if you’re talking about building long-term and building a culture, I don’t know if he’s proven to be that guy because of his durability issues. It’s just that simple to me.”

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Kawhi Almost Signed With Lakers

While Leonard picked the Clippers a couple of years ago, it looked for a while like he’d end up with the Lakers. There were a number of reports suggesting that he was going to end up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Had the Clippers not swung a trade for Paul George, it’s likely that Leonard is a Laker right now.

Now that he’s two years into his Clippers experiment, he could be souring on the situation. The team was supposed to be the start of a dynasty but they have yet to even sniff a championship. Leonard could be having a bit of buyer’s remorse. That said, it’s hard to see him leaving the Clippers yet. He gets to live close to home and the team has been very accomodating to him. Other than playing for the Lakers, it’s hard to imagine a better situation for him.


Kawhi ‘Unhappy’ With Clippers’ Medical Staff

The reason that Leonard possibly leaving the Clippers has become a topic is due to a recent report from Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless. He indicated that Leonard is having issues with Los Angeles’ medical staff.

“I have been told by a very good source that the first issue became Kawhi was unhappy with the Clippers medical staff, because he felt that they, early on, misdiagnosed and underplayed the extent of this knee injury,” Bayless said.

This is certainly reminiscent of his time with the San Antonio Spurs. His issues with the medical staff are what eventually forced him out.

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