The Los Angeles Clippers had significant news to share with the public on Tuesday regarding star forward Kawhi Leonard. He recently underwent surgery to repair a partially-torn ACL.
Leonard missed the entire Western Conference Finals because of this ACL injury. However, the severity of his injury was kept under wraps throughout the playoffs.
At this time, the Clippers don’t have a timetable for Leonard’s return. That’s unfortunate because the two-time Finals MVP could opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer.
Since there’s no telling when Leonard will be back on the court, Los Angeles might have to change its entire approach to this offseason.
“It’s really weird not knowing anything about Kawhi’s prognosis for next season, based on the nature of his surgery and timetable (which even he/the team might not really know much about yet),” an NBA fan wrote. “If LAC doesn’t view 2022 as a legitimate potential title year, it changes free agency.”
It's really weird not knowing anything about Kawhi's prognosis for next season, based on the nature of his surgery and timetable (which even he/the team might not really know much about yet)
If LAC doesn't view 2022 as a legitimate potential title year, it changes free agency
— lucas (@LucasJHann) July 14, 2021
April 2022 is nine months away. The NBA Regular season starts in October. Either via this injury or via signing elsewhere, the Clippers regular season will be missing Kawhi with their pick owed to OKC.
— Rylan Stiles (@Rylan_Stiles) July 14, 2021
Even though Leonard might miss the 2021-22 season due to an ACL injury, he should still receive a max contract on the open market.
After all, Kevin Durant received a lucrative deal from the Brooklyn Nets immediately following his Achilles injury.
Kawhi not playing next season but he's still getting the max.
— Ahmed🇸🇴 (@big_business_) July 14, 2021
Some basketball fans are still baffled by the fact that Leonard’s camp was able to avoid leaks about his ACL surgery.
Usually, a story like this goes public as soon as possible. Leonard’s camp, however, has proven time and time again that it’s a close-knit group.
It’s crazy how we never got an official diagnosis on Kawhi’s injury.
His camp is impenetrable.
— Guru (@DrGuru_) July 14, 2021
Before suffering a torn ACL, Leonard was the leading scorer for the Clippers in the playoffs. He finished the 2020-21 season averaging 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
Colin Cowherd, meanwhile, thinks the Clippers would take a one-year deal for Leonard.
"The Clippers are not a desperate team anymore… I think the Clippers privately would take a 1-year deal with Kawhi."
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 14, 2021
Do you think Leonard will leave Los Angeles this offseason?