Clippers Receive Terrible Kawhi Leonard News Ahead of Game 1 vs Mavericks

The Los Angeles Clippers get the worst news possible ahead of their playoff matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers are entering a pivotal postseason. In a season where they traded for James Harden and built the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George-Harden trio, the Clippers need to take a significant step forward and make a deep postseason run. With George and Harden's contracts expiring at the end of the season, and the Clippers moving into a new arena, LA has plenty of decisions to make this offseason. A disappointing playoff run would complicate things for owner Steve Ballmer.

Unfortunately, things just got even more complicated for the Clippers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Kawhi Leonard's availability for the Clippers' series against the Dallas Mavericks is in doubt.

NBA Playoffs News: Kawhi Leonard Doubtful to Play in Game 1 vs Dallas

Clippers head coach Ty Lue had said that the superstar forward has been shooting but hasn't taken contact yet, suggesting that he still has ways to go before returning to action. Considering that Game 1 against Dallas is on Sunday, it sounds like Leonard's status is in serious jeopardy.

Leonard had missed the last eight games of the regular season with swelling on his knee. The six-time All-Star's knees have been a problem for him throughout his career. Leonard hasn't been able to go through a fully successful postseason since his first year with the Clippers in 2020.

This year has been the healthiest regular season for Kawhi since the 2016-17 season in San Antonio. He played 68 games and over 34 minutes per game. However, with Leonard, the injury risk is always higher than ideal.

If Leonard in fact can't suit up against the Mavericks, the Clippers should be considered significant underdogs against Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

The Clippers better hope their star returns sooner than later, otherwise, it will be one long summer in Los Angeles.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Clippers are +142 underdogs to start the series. These odds may shift with more Leonard news but if you want to take advantage of them now, head over to FanDuel and don't forget to claim your $150 in bonus bets after your first $5 wager.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.