Simply put, the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George partnership has not panned out for the Los Angeles Clippers. There’s no denying that injuries have played a major role in their lack of success as a duo and if only they were healthy, these two could have already led the Clippers to a championship in the four years they’ve been together in LA.
Is it now time for the Clippers to cut their losses and cash in on this failed duo? If they put Kawhi Leonard on the trade block then surely, more than a few teams in the NBA would be extremely interested.
New Orleans Form New Kawhi Leonard-led Superteam
Lee Tran of Fadeaway World believes that one of those teams would be the New Orleans Pelicans. Here are the details of his trade proposal:
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Kawhi Leonard, Amir Coffey
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: CJ McCollum, Dyson Daniels, Jordan Hawkins, 2024 First-Round Pick (NOP), 2024 First-Round Pick (LAL)
We’ve already seen how a healthy Kawhi Leonard can lead a team to a championship. Granted that this was four years ago, but the fact of the matter is that the five-time All-Star still has a lot of gas left in the tank. Imagine a scenario in which Kawhi leads the charge for the Pelicans’ new-look Big 3 alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. That would immediately propel New Orleans as one of the favorites in the Western Conference.
Tran points out one major caveat for this superstar trio, though:
“The main risk with this team is that Kawhi Leonard, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram are all injury prone. In some ways, this is an all-or-nothing trade. However, the upside with this star trio is absolutely immense, especially for a small-market team like the Pelicans. At some point, the team has to make a move to try and win, rather than relying on internal development,” Tran wrote.
New Orleans Pelicans Rebuild Around Paul George, CJ McCollum
For the Clippers, the move here is that they retain one-half of their botched power duo. Paul George remains in LA and he become the superstar this team builds around for the years to come. By adding CJ McCollum, the Clippers get a durable veteran who can prove to be a great partner to George in LA’s rebuilding efforts. With these two leading the charge, the Clippers can still remain relevant in the West as they retool for the future.
Speaking of the future, LA gets a ton of assets in this deal. They acquire two former lottery picks in Dyson Daniels and Jordan Hawkins, while also getting their hands on two first-round picks for 2024. The Clippers need not wait too long in their rebuilding efforts and they could already form a future-facing young core as soon as next year.
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