NBA Offseason: Kawhi Leonard is key to upgrading the OKC Thunder roster

Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder trade partner Los Angeles Clippers
PLAYA VISTA, CA – JUNE 25: Draft picks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 and Jerome Robinson #13 of the LA Clippers pose for a photo with Head Coach Doc Rivers during the Draft Press Conference at the Clippers Training Facility in Playa Vista, California on June 25, 2018 at Clippers Training Facility.  Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Clippers

Just because the loudest voice in the room is the one you hear, it doesn’t negate the fact several people are speaking. Such is the case with the Los Angeles Clippers who have been the softer voice, but nonetheless as invested in the pursuit of Kawhi Leonard. Apparently he’s been the Clips primary target this offseason. And, one of the biggest misconceptions is that the Claw requested a trade to the Lakers.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports guested on Russell Westbrook’s  favorite program the Herd (as per below) stating the narrative of Kawhi wanting to land with the Lakers has been overblown. In fact, with LeBron James arrival it may  be serving as a deterrent for Leonard.

Charania goes on to state Leonard although preferring LA isn’t married to just the Lakers, or that he wouldn’t be open to other options. Furthermore, Charania says because of the LeBron factor if traded to the Lakers, Leonard might not re-sign.

Fast forward to the 26:25 portion of the youtube video for the segment where Charania discusses the Kawhi Leonard situation.

"“I think his options have broadened a little bit. Just inside L.A., there’s another team obviously in L.A. I think he’d be very much open to the Clippers.”"

"“I don’t think he’s jumping for joy that LeBron James is in LA with the Lakers. If anything that’s gonna make him look maybe more towards the Clippers because this is a guy that won Finals MVP against LeBron, you think he’s amped up and wants to join LeBron now? I think that’s been overstated and the Spurs are beginning to realize that they might have a broader market for him.”"

The Clippers alone don’t have the assets to interest San Antonio. However, the Clippers have one asset that interests OKC. That asset alone could change OKC from pretender to contender.