Trade Kawhi Leonard or Paul George? Plaschke’s Bold Call for Clippers’ Future

In a recent statement by Tyronn Lue, frustration within Clipper Nation was palpable. The coach lamented another disappointing season marred by the absence of their two superstar players. Lue’s exasperation raises a pertinent question – should the Clippers consider trading Kawhi Leonard or Paul George?

The Wrong Question – What if?

Plaschke: Clippers should trade Kawhi Leonard or Paul George - Los Angeles Times

Lue’s "What if?" question resonates, but perhaps it’s not the right one to ask. The Clippers, fresh off a first-round loss to the Suns, might need to entertain a different thought. This article explores why trading Paul George and Kawhi Leonard might be the right move for the franchise, despite their glittering potential.

An Imperative for Change

1. Fans Deserve Better

Fans have endured a rollercoaster of hope and despair with their two stars. Endless injuries and load management have worn thin. With a new arena set to open in 2024, the Clippers need to offer fans renewed hope.

2. The Price of Injuries

Trading Kawhi Leonard and Paul George could be challenging due to their hefty contracts, age, and injury-prone status. If retaining them is the only option, the article argues vehemently against offering them contract extensions.

3. The Elusive Pairing

George and Leonard together create a championship-caliber team, but their on-court chemistry remains elusive. In the 2022 season, they played together in just 38 out of 87 games, rendering their impressive 24-14 record inconsequential when it mattered most.

A Final Straw

Owner Steve Ballmer, known for his decisive actions, faces a crucial decision. He transformed the franchise by parting ways with Doc Rivers and the Lob City era. Should he do the same now? The recent playoff debacle might be the tipping point.

Injuries Plague the Superstars

Both George and Leonard suffered crucial injuries during the critical postseason. George’s knee sprain on March 21 and Leonard’s knee injury during the Phoenix series proved costly.

The Missed Opportunity

The Suns, still finding their footing, were vulnerable. With a healthy Leonard, the Clippers could have capitalized. But the absence of their star player dashed their hopes.

A Call for Change

The article proposes a different path forward for the Clippers. It suggests trading for younger, healthier players who can consistently contribute. Players like Norman Powell, Terance Mann, and Ivica Zubac could lead the way under Tyronn Lue’s guidance.

Leonard’s Enigma

Kawhi Leonard’s enigmatic presence raises questions about his commitment to the team and fans. His reluctance to communicate with the media and his inconsistent on-court impact cast a shadow over his tenure.

In conclusion, the article contends that the Clippers need to seriously consider trading Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. The era of "What if?" needs to end, and a new chapter with fresh, reliable talent should begin. Clipper Nation deserves better, and it’s time for Steve Ballmer to make the tough call for the future of the franchise.

Plaschke: Clippers should trade Kawhi Leonard or Paul George – the controversial debate continues.

Delving Deeper: Relevant Related Topics

Will the Clippers offer Kawhi Leonard and Paul George new deals?

The Clippers face a critical decision in the upcoming season. Both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have the potential to become free agents unless they agree to contract extensions. However, their persistent injuries and unavailability cast doubt on whether the Clippers will indeed extend new deals to these star players. As the team contemplates its future, the question looms: Will the Clippers commit to Leonard and George once again?

Are Kawhi Leonard & Paul George rivals on the golf course?

It seems that off the basketball court, Los Angeles Clippers superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George engage in a spirited rivalry on the golf course. When they are both in good health, Leonard and George create a formidable duo, making them one of the NBA’s most dynamic pairs.

Should the Clippers trade James Harden to Los Angeles?

The Clippers are exploring options to bolster their roster with added flexibility and athleticism. In the mix of potential acquisitions is James Harden, the seasoned Philadelphia 76ers star who has expressed a strong desire for a trade to Los Angeles this offseason. The question arises: Is bringing in James Harden the right move for the Clippers?

Who is Kawhi Leonard?

Kawhi Leonard, seen donning the yellow jersey, was notably present on the Clippers’ bench during Game 3 against the Phoenix Suns on April 20 at Arena. In 2020, he gained attention for his discontentment while playing for a bubble team, which ultimately squandered a three-game-to-one lead to Denver. This pivotal loss cost Los Angeles a historic playoff series between two hometown teams, and Leonard was notably reluctant to be in Orlando during this time.

What did the Clippers trade to get Paul George?

In their pursuit of Kawhi Leonard and the ambition of securing an NBA championship, the Clippers executed a significant trade to acquire Paul George. This blockbuster deal involved the Clippers parting with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, as well as relinquishing five first-round picks and agreeing to two first-round swaps. This hefty package was offered in the hopes of propelling the team towards its first-ever franchise championship.

Was Kawhi Leonard on the Clippers?

Was Kawhi Leonard a Clippers Player?

Kawhi Leonard’s tenure with the Clippers was marked by significant injury setbacks. During the recent regular season, he missed 30 games, and the entire 2021-22 regular season was lost due to a torn ACL suffered in the 2021 postseason. Before joining the Clippers in 2019, Leonard played for the Toronto Raptors in the 2018-19 regular season but had a cautious approach, never participating in both games of a back-to-back schedule.

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