Kawhi Leonard was one of the biggest free agents on the market during the NBA offseason and in the end, he signed a three-year, $103 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. The deal comes with a player option in the third year which means the two-time NBA champion has all of the leverage moving forward. With Leonard and Paul George on the roster, the Clippers are in prime position to go deep in the playoffs this season. While this may be true, there are still some people around the league who have a bad taste in their mouth over the way he left the San Antonio Spurs.
In a recent article by Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, an anonymous general manager had some harsh criticism of Leonard. “Kawhi is great getting his, but he doesn’t elevate anyone,” they said. “He doesn’t rally his team.”
Other executives around the league were more complimentary of Leonard although they did admit that he isn’t the vocal leader that other players have proven themselves to be. “He does have leadership qualities,” one executive said.“It depends on how you define ‘leader.’ He’s obviously not vocal, and he’s not a galvanizer. He does it with his work ethic and by example.”
Regardless of how you feel about Leonard, there is no denying he is a great talent that can turn any team into a contender. It would be interesting to know which GM said this as it would probably give some context as to why this person has that opinion.