Would the Toronto Raptors have been better than the current Clippers if Kawhi stayed?

Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard #2 and Paul George #13 (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Small Forward

Toronto Raptors: Kawhi Leonard

Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard

This will be the easiest comparison of all. For both franchises, he is by far the best and most impactful player. For obvious reasons, we will call this positional comparison even.

Advantage: Even

Power Forward

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam

Los Angeles Clippers: Paul George

The Raptors next best player matches up in the same position as the Clippers next best as well. George and Siakam each had incredible seasons this past year. George placed third in MVP voting (behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden). Siakam took home some less impressive hardware, winning the league’s Most Improved Player award by a wide margin.

George is one of the best two-way players on the planet while Siakam is a rising star. There is a possibility that Siakam can ascend to George’s level and even surpass it before his career is through, but heading into next season, they are still miles apart.

George is a significant difference-maker. He has the ability to take over a game and get big stops when his team needs it most. Leonard joining forces with George should mean a position change for PG-13. Though he has played primarily as a three, that should change next season. Expect George to slot in as a power forward, helping build a dynamic front-court.

No matter which position he plays, George is someone who the Clippers can trust to create and shots at the end of the game. The Raptors must always be mindful of his presence.

Siakam can also score in bunches and hold his own defensively as well. He is sure to be Toronto’s biggest star in the absence of Leonard. While George has Siakam beat in terms of talent and experience, the Raptors still get a fantastic player out in the four-spot.

Advantage: Los Angeles Clippers