Tyronn Lue Expects Kawhi Leonard, Paul George To Stay With Clippers

The Clippers believe Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be the foundation of the team for years, new head coach Tyronn Lue said during an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” (video link from show host Rachel Nichols).

Both stars have the ability to opt out next summer if they want to become part of what is expected to be a loaded free agent class. George’s player option for 2021/22 is $37.9MM, while Leonard’s is $36MM. However, Lue is confident that both Los Angeles natives will remain with the organization.

“I think Kawhi and PG are here to stay for a long time,” he said. “I think in their situation and where they want to be, it’s here with the Clippers. We just have to make it a great environment and we have to win.”

Lue also discussed how it feels to become a head coach again for the first time since the Cavaliers fired him six games into the 2018/19 season. Lue, who served as lead assistant to Doc Rivers last season, was rumored to be a candidate for several openings this year, including the Sixers, Nets, Pelicans and Rockets.

“It felt great to be wanted,” he said. “After the Cleveland situation and just having the chance to take a step back and reflect on things I could have done better, what I need to get better at, what I need to do to be better. I want to be great. I want to win championships. That’s what I want to do. So it takes a lot of work to do that.”

Lue said he is healthier now and better able to deal with stress than he was during his time in Cleveland. He experienced chest pains late in the 2017/18 season and had to take a short break from coaching to deal with his health. Lue told Nichols that he has lost 35 pounds since then and has learned how manage stress.

“Just having the chance to focus on myself, working out, eating better, doing some meditation here and there,” he explained. “Just learning to have a release outside of basketball. Because when I dive into coaching, it’s just all basketball. I’m up for the challenge. I feel great. No health issues, none of that. So I’m ready for the long run.”

newest oldest

20 thoughts on “Tyronn Lue Expects Kawhi Leonard, Paul George To Stay With Clippers

  1. PutoBelga12

    No one will offer PG that much money though, I expect him to opt in if he plays poorly this season, which I also expect.

  2. Sillivan

    How can Clippers improve offseason?
    4 free agents to sign and trade
    Zubac has little trade value
    Trade Beverley and Shamet?

    It seems that both Lakers and Clippers could get worse offseason

  3. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    I was glad to see that Lue is making the effort to take better care of himself.

  4. phillyballers

    They S&T Harrell and bring fill out the roster with low dollar vets. Stay active at the buyout and they make the playoffs. If they want to recoup late 1sts they’d be doing so at the expense of winning. Just buy 2nd round picks and flip 2 2nds for a 1st if you must.

    They could be a Boogie landing spot. They have an opening.

  5. Sillivan

    Lakers get worse if Rondo and Morris want money
    Clippers get worse if 2 free agents walk for nothing
    Nuggets get worse if 2 free agents left
    Rockets get worse if owners don’t pay luxury tax

      • Sillivan

        Wolves get worse if they draft Edwards and he turns out to be Wiggins due to same character
        Losing mentality

    • stevep-4

      HoopsRumors gets worse if Sillivan continues to post meaningless tropes

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      “If Rondo and Morris want money”, or they could play for free?

    • AshamedMethGoat

      “Rockets get worse if they try to play midget ball for a full season”

  6. If they play out the year, then they’ll either both will stay or both will leave. It’s FO’s and Lue’s jobs to make sure they stay (even more important than winning). If they don’t stay, the franchise is likely to wallow at the bottom of the standings for the next 5-7 years, and OKC would have made the deal of the century.

  7. davethemailman

    Kawhi Leonard and Paul George never seem to show loyalty to an organization. They will do whatever is in their own best interest, perhaps as most of us would. What kind of season and playoff run the Clippers have next year will have an impact on their decisions. That and what other opportunities are available. A repeat bad playoff performance like this year and will the Clippers or their fans even want Paul George back for $38 million? That’s a lot of money for bad memories.

  8. mcpucho

    Whole team taken (now) admits didn’t create any chemistry or practice hard enough during season.

    Too many egos on the squad. Only Kawhi deserves alpha dog status. PG great regular season but didn’t trust teammates in Playoffs, forced everything.

    Beverly, Williams, Harrell, Morris Sr all big egos. Montrell gone in S&T. Morris Sr unlikely resigned.

    Clips need better starting PG than Beverly. Knicks won’t resign Elfrid Payton, he’d be good fit.

    POR S&T Hassan Whiteside for Beverly be good fit for both teams.

  9. Chief Two Hands

    I really hope George stays with the Clippers for the rest of his career. He seems like an overall detriment to the team, who does not seem to respect him in general. He also disappears in big games and often comes across like a petulant teenager who never accepts responsibility for himself.

  10. LA should probably be able to win one championship as long as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are still on their roster. This would be great for Kawhi legacy to bring a title to a clippers fantasy that been curse and that hadn’t won an champion in its team history.

  11. davethemailman

    I am a Laker’s fan, not a Clipper’s fan. Kind of as an impartial observer, the Clippers seemed to be much easier to root for last year than this year. And I really admired Ralph Lawler. The previous year they really played hard and out-performed what was expected of them. Seemingly no ego problems. After Leonard and George came , like many people, I thought to myself “the Lakers have the 2 bigger stars, but the Clippers have more depth”. I was really afraid that the Clippers were going to be better than us after seeing how tough they were the year before and then adding two superstars. Look what happened! “Lob City” was more fun than this. A lot of people may not credit Blake Griffin, but his will to win and refusal to let injuries stop him started the turn-around for the Clippers. They became different even before Chris Paul showed up, although Chris Paul usually gets most of the credit. Griffin started changing them from a laughing stock to a consistent winner. I acknowledge this as a Lakers fan who basically doesn’t want any competition for LA. I thought and wished that the team had moved to Seattle where the fans deserve a team. Instead they now have a filthy rich owner who is building his own arena and using his candy money to lobby the citizens for tax hikes.

    There’s a lot of reasons not to like the Clippers, but selfishly (?), maybe, I didn’t mind them so much being here when they were no good. The heck with the Clippers – for me it will always be GO LAKERS!!

Leave a Reply