How Kawhi Leonard’s injury impacts the OKC Thunder

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The L.A. Clippers have been bounced from the NBA Playoffs four games to one against the Phoenix Suns. The Clippers ran into a bunch of bad luck, losing Paul George at the end of the regular season and then seeing fellow starKawhi Leonard go down in their playoff series against the Suns.

Kawhi Leonard played in the first two games of the five-game series before being sidelined with what we thought was a knee sprain or soreness. But, ultimately, it was announced today that the superstar wing had suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee. The same knee that he popped his ACL in 2021.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are impacted by the L.A. Clippers seeing Kawhi Leonard go down with a torn Meniscus. What happens now?

The Los Angeles Clippers pushed all in during the 2019 NBA offseason, trading for Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder to help lure Kawhi Leonard away from the reigning Champion Raptors to join the Clippers.

Thus started the “street lights over spotlights” era of Clippers basketball. Since then, the organization has been hit with an infinite amount of bad luck. Injuries have derailed every season while having the potential to win a ring each season.

Now, Kawhi Leonard is down with a Meniscus tear, and there is no timetable for his return. Leonard has often been slow to recover from injuries, and by now, everyone understands the load management routine the Clippers have tried to pull off for years.

The Oklahoma City Thunder own the L.A. Clippers’ unprotected 2024 First round draft pick. In fact, the Clippers do not have the right to their own pick until 2027, thanks to that historic Paul George trade.

In some capacity, there is a chance for Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Nic Batum, Eric Gordon, Marcus Morris, and Robert Covington to be free agents in 2024. So how do the Clippers rebuild from here?

They are between the ultimate rock and a hard place, not owning any of their future picks, opening up a near arena in the 2024-25 season, and still understanding that if they could ever get healthy, they would have a legitimate shot for a ring.

Whatever the L.A. Clippers decide, and whenever Kawhi Leonard can return to the floor, have a lasting impact on the OKC Thunder.

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