Despite an early exit from the NBA playoffs, this past season, newly appointed Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue believes Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are going to be leading this team for years to come.
“I think Kawhi and PG are going to stay for a long time. I think in their situation and where they want to be, it’s here with the Clippers. We just gotta make it a great environment, and we have to win,” Lue said, in an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump.
Just a season removed from winning the title with the Raptors, Kawhi landed in LA with hopes of bringing similar success to a franchise that had seen little of it since the dawn of their existence in 1970. Despite much strife within the team over the course of the season, Leonard remained one of their most consistent performers, putting 27 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists on 47% shooting for the 2019-20 campaign.
Unfortunately for his co-star, Paul George, his performance this season was not as flattering. With his lowest point per game average since 2013 (just 21.5 this season), he failed to make the All-Star team and had trouble earning the respect of his teammates. In the playoffs, his list of shortcomings only grew, as he consistently let the team down in important games.
Interestingly, both players have the option of opting out of their contracts next summer to become free agents. And while Lue believes the Clippers are set up for a while, it seems likely that one or both players could consider alternative destinations if the Clips don’t turn things around soon.