Six days into 2019 NBA free agency, Kawhi Leonard has not made his decision yet as the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Toronto Raptors patiently wait.
However, as Leonard weighs his options, the Anthony Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans is expected to be completed on July 6, which impacts the Lakers.
If Leonard does not make a decision by noon on July 6, the four teams involved will have to delay the Davis trade, according to Ohm Youngmisuk and Bobby Marks of ESPN:
League sources told ESPN’s Bobby Marks that the Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards are expected to cooperate with the Lakers if Leonard is still undecided by noon on Saturday. The date was agreed upon initially in the Lakers’ and Pelicans’ deal sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks for Davis. The deal was based on the Lakers using the $32 million in cap space created on a max free agent, such as Leonard or on other players available.
If these teams are unwilling to cooperate, the Lakers would only have $30 million instead of a near max-contract slot to sign Leonard, according to Youngmisuk and Marks:
If the Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards do not agree to delay the date to make the trade official past Saturday should Leonard remain undecided, the Lakers’ cap space would shrink to $30 million and Los Angeles would be able to offer Leonard only a four-year deal worth $127 million compared to the four-year, $138 million contract they can offer with $32 million available in cap space.
Based on Leonard’s timeline of meeting with all three teams and taking some time to evaluate his options, it would be surprising if he did not make a decision by July 6 noon.
However, since it has been extremely quiet, it is a scenario the Lakers have to consider as the Pelicans, Wizards, and Atlanta Hawks ultimately have to be all on the same page.
Regardless of what happens, the Lakers are still in a good position with Davis and LeBron James. DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, and Marcus Morris are still available.