• William Jackson

2019 NBA Free Agents: Kawhi Leonard


NBC News

Overview:

Sitting out the 2017-18 season panned out for Kawhi Leonard as he finds himself in the NBA Finals. He only played in 60 games this season due to load management, but as he did with the Spurs, he’s showing up in the postseason. This season, Kawhi managed to earn All-NBA and All-Defensive 2nd team honors.

Regular Season Stats:

60 Games: 26.6PPG, 54.2 2P%, 37.1 3P%, 85.4% FT%, 3.9 AST, 7.3 REB, 1.8 STL, 0.4 BLK.

Age: 27

Strengths:

Usually, players are strong on one side of the ball and weak on the other, not with Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi is an elite offensive and defensive player. Excluding the 2017-18 season, Kawhi’s last 3 All Star seasons have seen him average over 21 points while racking up the steals and blocks. His other strength is that he can carry a team in the postseason. Since winning his ring in San Antonio, Kawhi is averaging 27 points and 8 rebounds while shooting 50% from the floor in the postseason.

Weaknesses:

The one knock on Kawhi is his health concerns. He missed 22 games this season, sat out 73 games last season and has only played more than 70 games twice in his eight year career.

Ideal Role:

Kawhi will be the star wherever he goes. He thrives when he is the primary scorer, as seen in this deep playoff run with the Raptors. Just like any other NBA star, Kawhi would need help wherever he lands.

Possible Landing Spots:

Toronto is the most likely spot for the NBA superstar, after the report of him liking the city and purchasing a house there. Toronto has the chance to re-sign him and for the NBA to see Kawhi-Giannis in the Conference Finals for the next few years.

Los Angeles is the next most talked about spot for Kawhi, both with the Clippers and Lakers. Leonard is from southern California, and both teams will have cap space the pursuit the superstar. Right now, the Clippers would be the best fit out of the two Staples Center teams.

Brooklyn has been linked to Kawhi for quite some time. The team recently made the playoffs and many around the NBA believe a star like Kawhi Leonard is all they need to take the next step.

Next Contract:

Wherever he ends up, Kawhi will receive the maximum amount of money a team could offer him, including a no trade clause and a player option.

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