Paul George return and Kawhi Leonard rumors

Welcome back to the Clippers, Paul George.

According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, Paul George was upgraded to questionable to return on Tuesday, and he’s reportedly likely to return against the Utah Jazz. His return from him in a big game should be a big boost for the Clippers.

Here’s where it gets really interesting. Kawhi Leonard had surgery on his partially torn ACL in July. Rumors have been swirling about a potential return of their all-world superstar.

Three weeks ago, Leonard went through an “extensive” shooting drill when they faced off against the Golden State Warriors.

Consequently, Youngmisuk again reported just five days ago that Leonard could return for round one of the playoffs.

“By all accounts, Leonard has been working hard and looks to be in good shape, but the Clippers will be extra cautious with their franchise star. If they make it out of the play-in tournament, however, and Paul George and Norman Powell also return, Leonard would just need clearance from the medical staff to play again. And that door has been left open,” Youngmisuk said.

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Furthermore, Ringer founder Bill Simmons fed these rumors on his podcast. He went on to say there are some “rumblings” that Leonard could be back for round one of the playoffs.

“I think they’ll have George and [Norman] Powell back for the play-in game,” he said. “What I heard is, don’t be shocked if they had a full team back for round one.”

It should be noted that Simmons claimed George would be back by the play-in game on Sunday, before any news had hit the market on Tuesday related to his official return.

NBA Futures odds update: Betting the Clippers before the odds shift?

NBA Western Conference odds NBA Finals odds
Phoenix Suns +115 Phoenix Suns +300
Golden State Warriors +340 Brooklyn Nets +600
Memphis Grizzlies +700 Milwaukee Bucks +650
Dallas Mavericks +1100 Golden State Warriors +700
Denver Nuggets +1400 Philadelphia 76ers +800
Minnesota Timberwolves +3000 Boston Celtics +1100
Los Angeles Clippers +4000 Miami Heat +1100
Memphis Grizzlies +1600
Utah Jazz +2000
Dallas Mavericks +2500
Denver Nuggets +2500
Los Angeles Clippers +6600
Odds provided by BetMGM as of Tuesday, March 29

Coming into the season, the Clippers were expected to seriously compete for a title, starting the year with the second-best odds behind the Lakers to win the Western Conference (+600) and ahead of the current favorite Phoenix Suns.

Since then, the Clippers have had to deal with some bad luck and injuries for weeks on end. Moreover, they are losers of five straight games going into Tuesday’s tilt with the Utah Jazz. On the season, they are 36-39, and are destined for the play-in game to get into the playoffs.

All of that screams doom and gloom. However, the return of George and Powell would obviously be a massive boost.

Kawhi Leonard return rumors, NBA futures
Kawhi Leonard shoots before their game against the Warriors for the first time since July
Getty Images

With some people speculating that Leonard could return early in the NBA playoffs, the Clippers are looking like an incredible value at +4000 to win the West on BetMGM, who is giving the best odds on this by a wide margin.

Furthermore, any Leonard return, even with limited minutes, would at least heavily shift the odds in the favor of the Clippers. As a bettor, we are looking for an edge wherever possible, and rumors markets are exactly where you want to be.

DraftKings is ahead of the market here, giving the Clippers far more credit (+2000) than BetMGM to win the NBA Western Conference. With a play-in game likely, a bet on BetMGM of $100 at +4000 would profit $4,000. As long as they get past the play-in games, this should be one of the safer bets out there as odds shift in the coming weeks.


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