Could the Lakers win the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes?
The Clippers have been considered the favorites to sign Leonard, but according to The New York Times, the Lakers have emerged as a “true threat” to add Leonard.
Things change fast in #thisleague: With free agency a day and change away, it’s the Lakers who have convinced Las Vegas – and an increasing number of league insiders – that they are LA’s true threat to limiting Kawhi Leonard’s Raptors career to a single season. Not the Clippers
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 29, 2019
The report notes that the Clippers will have more work to do as they might have to convince Kevin Durant to sign with the Clippers in order to attract Leonard away from the Lakers, adding “league sources insist that the Laker threat is that significant.”
Bleacher Report noted Monday that one “Western Conference VP says the Lakers are operating as if ‘they think they have a strong shot’ at adding Leonard after acquiring New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis to play alongside their incumbent star, LeBron James, in a deal that can’t be officially consummated until next month.”
As expected, Leonard opted out of the final year of his contract with the Raptors, though it has been reported that he’s “seriously considering re-signing” with Toronto.
He reportedly is set to meet with teams around the NBA and has been linked to the Nets and Knicks in addition to the Lakers and Clippers. He will have a final meeting with the Raptors, and many believe he will stay in Toronto after winning an NBA championship.
Danny Green, who was part of the deal that sent Leonard to Toronto, said the Raptors have done as much as they can to convince Leonard to stay.
“I don’t know the percentage (of chances that Leonard stays). But I think it’s a higher percentage for him to be here than to leave,” Green said during Hoops Talk, via Sportsnet. “The city, the fans have done their job, the organization’s done their job. It’s going to be a hard place (for Leonard) to turn down. (You) have a great team and have a city, people, fans that love you and are willing to give you almost everything. … They give you everything, the world, and then some.”
Free agency officially begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.