With 2019 NBA free agency underway, all of the attention is on Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Lakers as other All-Star players have already made their decisions.
As the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are the two teams left with a max-contract slot, it will be coming down to them if he does not re-sign with the Toronto Raptors now.
Although the Clippers were viewed as the destination for the 2018-19 NBA season, the narrative has changed to the Lakers with LeBron James and the Anthony Davis trade.
With Leonard’s camp currently silent, former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson revealed he has spoken to them and had a ‘positive’ conversation, according to Turner and Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
Magic Johnson spoke with Leonard and his uncle, Dennis Roberston, on Sunday, Johnson told The Times. According to people familiar with the discussion, they had a positive conversation about the direction of the Lakers.
Now, there are details about Leonard’s conversation with Johnson, according to Brad Turner of Los Angeles Times:
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) July 1, 2019
Leonard’s camp reportedly is considering expanding the team’s meeting to include general manager Rob Pelinka. Since there have been reports about Pelinka, it does make sense for them to address the Johnson situation.
As it currently stands, it is becoming more apparent no one truly knows about Leonard’s decision. Through all of the conflicting reports, the one constant has been the 28-year-old’s desire to play for one of the Los Angeles teams.
While the Clippers had an opportunity to sign two All-Star players, that is no longer available as Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Jimmy Butler have signed elsewhere.
And for the Lakers, they have done all they can to sign Leonard. With James and Davis, Leonard signing with them would create perhaps the greatest Big 3 in league history and the chance to win multiple championships.
Although Leonard is taking his time and rightfully so, this is the price the Lakers are willing to pay as potential role players are quickly signing with other teams now.