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Report: Clippers, other teams expect Kawhi Leonard to re-sign

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 4: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers high-fives teammates during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 4, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The Clippers, in their first season with Kawhi Leonard, suffered a historic playoff collapse amid chemistry problems last year. Leonard expressed dissatisfaction with the Clippers this season. He plans to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Would he actually leave L.A.?

Amick and John Hollinger of The Athletic:

Leonard is still widely, well, expected to re-sign with the Clippers. As it stands, that’s the word from Clippers sources and rival executives alike.

This seems like a reasonable expectation.

After all, Leonard left the defending-champion Raptors to join the Clippers. He clearly values being in his native Southern California.

The Clippers also have a strong roster (especially considering Paul George was his handpicked co-star) and committed owner in Steve Ballmer. Leonard would maximize his salary by opting out and re-signing.

But his contract situation does give him an exit ramp. His first season with the Clippers didn’t go as hoped. If they flame out in the playoffs again… I still predict he’d re-sign. Every indication is Leonard will stay put.

Still, free agency is several months away. Circumstances could change.

It’s just difficult to envision anything happening that’d cause Leonard to leave.