2019 NBA free agency may have started earlier on June 30, but the Los Angeles Lakers and all 30 teams are patiently waiting on Kawhi Leonard’s decision six days into it now.
For the first time in his eight-year career, Leonard is able to control his future as the Lakers and defending champion Toronto Raptors have their fair share of pros and cons.
While most of the All-Star and role players have quickly signed, there are still good ones available such as DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, and Marcus Morris.
For Cousins and JaVale McGee, some around the league reportedly believe they are waiting on Leonard’s decision now, according to Vincent Ellis of Detroit Free Press:
— Vince_Ells56 (@Vincent_Ellis56) July 3, 2019
As it is unclear if Cousins has met with any teams so far, McGee recently met with the Houston Rockets to begin free agency, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Free agent center JaVale McGee will meet with the Houston Rockets on Sunday, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 30, 2019
At this stage of free agency, it makes sense to wait on Leonard’s decision. As most teams are running out of cap space except for the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, both teams could offer them more money if they strike out.
With McGee ‘highly interested’ in re-signing with the Lakers at the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season, it will be interesting to see if his stance has changed or not.
As for Cousins, it has been an unfortunate past year with two significant injuries that have cost him a max deal.
However, at just 28-years-old and averaging solid numbers in his first season with the Golden State Warriors, it would not be surprising if the Lakers took a chance on him.
Along with playing alongside Anthony Davis for 65 games with the New Orleans Pelicans, there is no denying his talent when healthy. While Cousins returned during the 2019 NBA Finals, it was clear he was not completely healthy.
If the Lakers are unable to sign Leonard, they may very well break up their cap space in order to sign 2-3 players.