The Duel

3 Best Options for Los Angeles Clippers if Kawhi Leonard Signs With Raptors or Lakers

Dan Israeli
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers / Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images
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The Los Angeles Clippers have definitively put all of their eggs in the Kawhi Leonard basket this year in free agency, and are still hopeful the LA-native will choose them as his new team.

The odds of that are seeming to shrink, however, as multiple reports have Leonard favoring the Lakers over the Clippers, if he indeed decides to leave Toronto, where he just helped the Raptors win their first title in franchise history, for Los Angeles.

The Clippers should have a Plan B, even if the plan involves a player pool that has become significantly shallow following a flurry of moves during the first two days of free agency. So far, the Clips have re-signed their top FA, point guard Patrick Beverly, while also picking up Blazers' forward Moe Harkless (and a future first-round pick) in a salary dump move with the Miami Heat.

Here are the three top options for the Clippers if they miss out on signing the reigning NBA Finals MVP.

1. Sign unrestricted free agent Marcus Morris

Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

If the Clippers are still looking to add a wing or power forward to fill the spot intended for Kawhi, the options left on the market are not even in the same stratosphere. Still, Marcus Morris is an attractive option as a tough-nosed big that can play multiple positions and knock down the three-ball (career-best 1.9 treys per game last season on 37.5% shooting). The Clippers have reached out to Morris' agent, so this deal is a real possibility if Kawhi goes elsewhere.

2. Sign restricted free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. to an offer sheet

Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns
Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If the Clippers goal is to get a little younger, they can also look into signing Kelly Oubre Jr., who is an restricted free agent following the Suns extending a qualifying offer to the four-year vet. Oubre was traded from Washington to Phoenix last season, where he put up a career-high 16.5 points per game on a respectable 45.3% mark from the field. Oubre could potentially start for the Clips, and would give them another young, athletic player on a team with a good blend of emerging talent and proven vets.

3. Re-sign current free agents, stand pat.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers / Harry How/Getty Images

Of course, another option for the Clippers is to do very little at all. While they have plenty of cap space, they also have three remaining free agents from last season's roster in Ivica Zubac, Wilson Chandler, and JaMychal Green. The Clippers have already extended a qualifying offer to Zubac, who they are very high on, and can potentially sign one or two of their remaining free agents, while also adding a minimum salary guy like James Ennis. No matter what they do, the Clippers will run it back with another competitive team next season, despite missing out on their dream free agent acquisition.


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