Paul George and Kawhi Leonard ignited the hunger for 1st title as soon as they paired up for LA Clippers. The star-studded team tried hard over the years, but never managed to reach the “contender” level. Although they had very great and competitive teams, but those were never feared as certain champions would. But the scene quickly changed following the arrival of Paul George and 2–time NBA Champion Kwahi Leonard. Clippers signed both mega stars back in 2019, but injuries limited them to play a full season together. But this year might just be different. Both stars look fit and ready to go on court, and a lot will be riding for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2022-23.
Out of the two stars, Kwahi was missed a lot as he played in a total of 109 games in 2 seasons and sat out the complete 2022 season. George didn’t fare much better, with the seven-time All-Star managing just 31 games for the Clippers last term and 133 in total for the Clippers.
But the Clippers can be pleased with the fast recovery of both their superstars, as the recent video highlights Kwahi is ready for a strong comeback, and George also reacting positively to the same.
Los Angeles Clippers hoping for 100% availability of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as they invested more in 2023
2019 off season was a shocker one as NBA experienced many mega trades and free agency movements, which changed the complexion of the league. Brooklyn Nets added injured Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan to solidify their claims for the title. Golden State Warriors drafted Jordan Poole and traded Andrew Wiggins to give some shape to their semi-building roster. The Rockets also added Russell Westbrook and Tyson Chandler to help James Harden for Championship. Lakers also finally landed Anthony Davis in a mega deal, but no team made huge buzz like the Clippers with the addition of the best 2-way players in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
The Clippers were instant title favorites for the 2020 NBA championship, but the Lakers won their 17th title, while the Clippers finishing 2nd in the West lost to the Nuggets in the 7-game conference Semis. Later they advanced to the conference finals in 2021 but again lost to the Suns in 6 games. In their defense, injuries have played a major role in LA Clippers’ inability to reach the heights many expected them to.
For his part, Kawhi Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 season as he rehabbed a torn ACL. And George was also struggling with elbow injuries. However, at this point, both stars are raring to go ahead with the new campaign. In a recent Clippers hype video, George sent out a stern warning to the rest of the league concerning Leonard’s current status.
The Clippers also continued their team building with encouraging signs from their support cast. They added talented John Wall from free agency. They also acquired Robert Covington and Norman Powell from Portland without hampering their core support cast. With Tyro Lue at the Head coach position and a fit trio of Leonard-George-Wall opponents should be worried about their matchups.
As for former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, it is clear that he’s been working hard throughout the offseason. He’s put on a lot of muscle. As Paul George implied, however, this significant body change has only worked in the former Finals MVP’s favor. It should be enough to get any Clipper fan excited ahead of what should be a bounce-back campaign for this very hungry group.