Kawhi Leonard is only playing his second season with the LA Clippers but the latest NBA rumors are already linking him with a move to the Miami Heat. Things haven't worked out as planned for the five-time All-Star in Los Angeles and Leonard could want a way out if the Clippers underperform again this season.
As reported by Evan Massey of NBA Analysis Network, Kawhi Leonard would be intrigued by the possibility of teaming up with Jimmy Butler at Miami Heat. Massey spoke to an NBA agent who had the following to say:
“Kawhi (Leonard) could very well listen to pitches from other teams. That is something that he is considering. If that does end up being the case, he would be intrigued at the possibility of joining the Miami Heat. Joining forces with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo is something that he would absolutely have interest in.”
Kawhi Leonard signed a three-year deal with the LA Clippers in the summer of 2019. He has a player option for the 2021-22 season and could become a free agent if he declines the same. If he forgoes his player option, Leonard will become the most coveted player in a rather thin free agent pool in the upcoming offseason.
NBA Rumors: Do the Miami Heat have a realistic chance of landing Kawhi Leonard?
It's well-known by now that Kawhi Leonard initially wanted to team up with Jimmy Butler in LA back in 2019. Butler decided to join the Miami Heat and Leonard ended up recruiting Paul George instead. But the 'what if' question is bound to linger in Kawhi's mind considering that the Heat made the NBA Finals last year and seem just one piece away from being legitimate contenders again.
At the end of the day, Kawhi Leonard's decision will be impacted by what goes down in the playoffs this season. The LA Clippers have already committed long-term money to Paul George, Marcus Morris and Luke Kennard. If Tyronn Lue's unit is able to make it work and the Clippers make the NBA Finals at least, it makes sense for Leonard to stay put.
If that's not the case, the Miami Heat could come into the picture. They're projected to have cap space for the 2021-22 season. The Heat also have the assets needed to bring in more reinforcements to convince Kawhi Leonard that he'll be ably supported outside of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.