The Los Angeles Clippers may have been eliminated in the first-round of this year’s NBA Playoffs, but many seem to believe that there are even bigger things in store for them. Following a season that saw them overachieve to reach the postseason, the Clips are now primed to snag some big names in free-agency this summer, with some experts even hearing whispers that the franchise is being considered a better option than the more iconic Los Angeles Lakers. That’s pretty insane.
There have been a few big-named superstars linked to the Los Angeles Clippers this summer — like Kevin Durant — but one that has been floating around out there for about a year is Kawhi Leonard, who is about to lead his Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals. While Leonard has seen huge success north of the boarder this season, there’s a general sentiment from, well, nearly everybody that he’s destined to bolt and head elsewhere.
Knowing that they’ve got to be unique in their pitch, the Los Angeles Clippers reportedly have had something up their sleeve that could entice Kawhi Leonard — but it won’t be easy to maneuver and, ultimately, pull off. That’s because the Clippers want to try and buy the rights of Leonard’s the ‘Klaw” logo that Nike, Leonard’s former sponsor, still owns. Take a look at what Marc Stein of the New York Times had to write.
The Los Angeles Clippers are said to have quietly looked into the feasibility of purchasing the portion of the rights to Leonard’s “Klaw” logo that is still owned by Nike. The Clippers did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but such an acquisition would theoretically enable them to bestow full control of the logo upon Leonard as part of their anticipated free-agency pitch meeting with the Toronto superstar.
We’ve heard of plenty of interesting ways that NBA teams have pitched superstar free agents in the past, but the Los Angeles Clippers giving this amount of effort to Kawhi Leonard has to be one of the best. The idea would be that, if the Clips gained the rights to the “Klaw” logo, Leonard could gain back control of it and use it on marketing materials. However, Stein points out that the money that it would take for the NBA team to maneuver something like that could be too steep — and that Nike would be less than willing to part ways with the design in order for Leonard to use it with New Balance, who he’s currently sponsored by.
We’ll have to wait and see if all of this comes to fruition or not, but, above anything else, it shows that the Los Angeles Clippers are taking this summer as a franchise-changing event, with them willing to pull out nearly every stop in order to add a superstar like Kawhi Leonard to their roster.