This rumor-filled offseason may bring excitement to the much-disappointed Laker fanbase, but it won’t be in the form of Kawhi Leonard. The former NBA Champion reportedly does not want to play in the Lakers alongside Lebron James.
A number of sources reported Leonard’s disinterest to play for the 16-time champion franchise. One was ESPN’s Michael C. Wright’s comments on whether he believes the superstar would be interested in signing with the Lakers.
“I do not. That’s just what I’ve been told. It’s what I’ve been told going back to last summer. I don’t see that as something that’s happening. I think he goes to the Clippers.”
Leonard has previously expressed disinterest about joining the Lakers. Another source in July, Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, told Colin Cowherd that “it’s been made abundantly clear there’s not an interest [from Leonard] to go join a superteam. I don’t think he’s jumping for joy that LeBron James is in L.A. with the Lakers.”
The disinterest of Leonard to the Purple and Gold may have deepened since the Lakers freefall into the abyss. The team may have to sell big to get a superstar in the offseason. However, the young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram with the combination of LeBron James may be just enough to convince one of the many free agents to come to the City of Angels.
It is almost certain that Leonard will opt out of his deal with the Raptors because it seems destination is important to him. The young superstar has expressed his desire to play in Los Angeles, and the fact that he’s not willing to stay in Toronto shows that he doesn’t like the market there. He left the Spurs and Popovic’s system so he may have something very specific in mind. The more time goes on, the more it seems like Leonard wants to be the flashy superstar, and that just can’t happen on the Lakers alongside LeBron James.