Rumor: Clippers have considered buying rights to Kawhi Leonard’s logo from Nike, giving him control if he signs with them
The Clippers have gone to great lengths to recruit Kawhi Leonard.
Just how far would they go?
This would be clear salary-cap circumvention. The Clippers would never get away with it, even if they offered Nike enough money to change the company’s mind.
But the Clippers also got fined for circumvention in 2015, when they lined up an endorsement deal for DeAndre Jordan. So, this wouldn’t be out of character.
Ultimately, I’m unconvinced the Clippers ever took this latest idea seriously. It strikes me as the type of juicy story people around the league, knowing the desperation the Clippers have shown in pursuing Leonard, want to believe and spread. It’s also possible someone within the large Clippers organization suggested the idea then learned of the infeasibility.
If the Clippers actually intended to execute this plan this summer, I’d be surprised.
Of course, the Clippers could still lure Leonard, anyway. But the Raptors – who open the NBA Finals tomorrow – are making their best case.