Warriors

Warriors

When Kawhi Leonard's Toronto Raptors take on Kevin Durant and the Warriors at Oracle Arena on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers will reportedly be watching intently.

That's because the Clippers are planning to pursue Leonard and Durant as free agents to fill their two max salary slots this summer, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Wednesday morning. 

"[Clippers owner Steve] Ballmer's vision is to land Leonard or Durant -- or both, as long as they're swinging for the fences -- and then ride them to glory and a new arena in Inglewood that could turn the Clippers into one of the premier franchises in the league," Windhorst wrote. 

The Clippers are so interested in Leonard -- who reportedly prefers the Clippers to the Lakers -- that they've regularly sent someone to his games. So far, Raptors officials say they saw a Clippers employee at around three-quarters of Toronto's games, according to Windhorst. One of those employees was Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. 

The Clippers, meanwhile, contend they've attended "less than 50 percent of Leonard's games."

Warriors fans would dread seeing Durant depart for a division rival, let alone this division rival, but it's easy to see why the Clippers are so interested in both players. Durant and Leonard are both former NBA Finals MVPs, and although both are listed as small forwards, their length and versatility would figure to make the pair a seamless fit alongside one another in an increasingly positionless NBA. 

 

Aside from a possible showdown in the Finals, Wednesday is the last meeting between the Warriors and Raptors during the 2018-19 season. The two battled in a matchup to remember last month, and figure to do the same at Oracle.

Will they next take the court together as teammates? Durant said Tuesday he ultimately envisions having a statue in front of Chase Center, so it's possible the Clippers' dream will remain just that. 

As an aside, there are still 201 days until the start of NBA free agency.