There will be a number of big-name free agents available this summer and the Los Angeles Lakers will have the cap space to sign them to a max contract.
Among them are the likes of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins and Kemba Walker, but one of the more intriguing ones is Kawhi Leonard.
After an injury that kept him out most of the 2017-18 NBA season, Leonard has returned in a big way this year. Leonard has returned to his All-NBA form on both sides of the floor in helping the Toronto Raptors to one of the NBA’s best records, but where he ends up is anyone’s guess.
The Raptors believe it will be the same place that he is playing for this season as according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN, Toronto is increasingly confident they will retain Leonard:
Behind the scenes, many Toronto Raptors officials have become increasingly confident in the team’s chances of re-signing Kawhi Leonard this summer, sources tell TSN.
What the Raptors do in the postseason this year could stand to further increase their confidence in re-signing Leonard this summer as it is hard to picture him leaving should Toronto reach the 2019 NBA Finals or win a championship.
If Leonard does decide to leave the Raptors, there will be a number of teams fighting for his services and the Lakers will surely be among them. Leonard is a Southern California native who has been linked to the Lakers in the past, but recently there is some belief that if he were to return home, the more likely landing spot would be with the Clippers.
Wherever Leonard ultimately lands, that team will be getting an MVP-caliber player. This season, Leonard is averaging 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 steals, but has sat out of 20 games so far as the Raptors have played things safe with his return from injury.