Reports Indicate the Clippers Could Be Forming a Super Team


The NBA doesn’t have a catchy nickname for its offseason like baseball does with its Hot Stove League, but maybe it should.

The league’s offseason clearly has surpassed MLB’s in recent years in terms of activity and interest, and this year is no exception.

We’ve already seen some major trades, and with free agency opening at 6 p.m. ET Sunday, there are certain to be multiple moves that will reshape the league.

Until then, all we have are insider reports and speculation, and there have been some doozies. The latest involves NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard heading west to form a new superteam.

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The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported Thursday that the prospect of Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler and Toronto Raptors star Leonard moving to the Los Angeles Clippers “looks increasingly possible.”

The Clippers have only $54.1 million in cap space, according to Amick, via Bleacher Report. That’s not enough to sign two max players, so if this were to happen, LA would likely have to move forward Danilo Gallinari.

Amick also reported that it is “looking likely” that the 76ers would be open to doing a sign-and-trade deal involving Butler if they can’t re-sign him.

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The Clippers won 48 games last year and were one of the biggest surprises in the league. Adding Leonard and Butler certainly would shake up the hierarchy of the Western Conference.

Yahoo Sports confirmed Leonard’s interest in the Clippers, reporting Thursday that Leonard intends to meet with the team when free agency opens Sunday, according to league sources.

Haynes also said Leonard planned to meet with the Clippers’ crosstown rival, the Lakers, who made some minor moves Thursday to open up one max slot.

They shipped Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards, ESPN reported. It’s part of the deal that brought Anthony Davis to the Lakers. In this three-team deal, the New Orleans Pelicans will receive cash from the Wizards.

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The move, along with Davis reportedly waiving his $4 million trade bonus, would clear up enough cap space, $32 million, for the Lakers to sign a max player, ESPN reported.

Yahoo Sports also reported earlier this week that Leonard is “seriously considering” re-signing with Toronto.

As for Butler, the Houston Rockets have expressed interest in bringing him to Houston via a sign and trade, ESPN reported Wednesday. The Rockets would have to move Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker to free up enough space to bring in Butler.

As of now, it’s all fluid, but things will start to take shape Sunday night.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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