Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
#2 Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers Bleacher Report/Twitter


  • The Los Angeles Clippers were ousted by the Phoenix Suns in five games
  • Kawhi Leonard and Paul George only appeared in 142 games out of a possible 353
  • Their lack of picks plus contract situation may force them to stay the course

The 2022-23 NBA season has ended in disappointment once again for the Los Angeles Clippers and they enter another offseason with more questions than answer.

To recap their season, the Clippers fought their way to securing a fifth seed after a somewhat slow start and the midseason additions of Russell Westbrook, Bones Hyland, Eric Gordon and Mason Plumlee were all meant to make them tougher contenders.

However, Paul George suffered a knee sprain on March 21 that kept him out of the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns.

A surprising Game 1 win over the superpowered Suns, which featured Kevin Durant on the roster, had many believing that a potential upset might be happening and Game 2 was another nail-biter for them, but the Suns were simply too much.

It was later revealed that Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was ruled out for the succeeding three games due to a knee sprain also and only after their season ended was it revealed that he had suffered a torn meniscus as confirmed by NBA insider Shams Charania.

Since joining the Clippers in 2019, the pair have shared the floor together 142 times out of a possible 353 games–equivalent to them appearing in 40.2 percent of games.

Of the games that they appeared in, the Clippers were able to win 67.6 percent of them, posting regular season records of 27-10 (2019-20), 32-11 (2020-21), and 24-14 (2022-23) while finding little success in the postseason: 7-6 (2019-20), 6-5 (2020-21) and did not appear together in the 2023 playoffs.

It is worth noting that for the entirety of the 2021-22 season, they did not share the floor at all since Leonard was out for the season with a partially torn ACL that he had gotten surgery in July 2021.

The Clippers' lack of postseason success has become the epitome of the old saying that the best type of ability for any NBA title hopeful is availability.

The partnership between Leonard and George has proved to be fruitful when they share the floor, but with them barely being healthy enough to play, there is more than enough reason to worry about the future.

With regards to them blowing it up, it might be an unlikely option since Leonard and George have guaranteed contracts through the 2023-24 season, but with a player option for 2024-25.

If the Clippers do not find success by next season, success being a Western Conference Finals berth at the very least, that may be the time for them to call it quits.

They have little option to do so after dealing away four unprotected first-round picks a protected first-rounder and two pick swaps–a treasure trove of assets for even just a shot at competing.

The Clippers committed their future to Leonard and George and while it may be a tough pill to swallow, their lack of future assets will force the front office to get creative with their moves this offseason.

Their priority should be in securing Westbrook and Gordon's services, while adding depth behind Ivica Zubac upfront and George on the wings which may better prepare them for the rigors of the playoffs.

A lot of things need to go right for them this offseason and it will be the most pivotal one yet in their 53-year history.

Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on before shooting free throws against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the third quarter during a Play-In Tournament game at Target Center on April 12, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves won 109-104 to advance to the NBA Playoffs. David Berding/Getty Images