It’s obvious that Kawhi Leonard will be in Los Angeles, just not with the Lakers.
The Toronto Raptors superstar becomes a free agent after this season, and he will most probably decline his 2019-2020 option with the Raptors. Everything points to Leonard moving to California, but not to the team you think.
According to an anonymous executive, the Clippers are emerging as the favorite to land Leonard next year rather than the Lakers. The executive went on to say:
“I think the Lakers are out, but the Clippers are the ones who think they have a shot at him if they decide to go that route. You hear a lot, he still wants to be on the West Coast. But give that group in Toronto all the credit in the world. They’re making it a tough decision for him. It might come down to just, ‘All right, how did the playoffs go, and how far are we from a championship?’”
Perhaps Leonard doesn’t want to deal with the LeBron drama in the Lakers. Either way, he has expressed his desire to play in the West many times, and the likelihood that he will come to the city of Angels gets more real every day.
However, the Raptors are making it very difficult for Leonard to leave. The team is near the top of the Eastern Conference and could even emerge as the Eastern Conference champion. Although, it seems pretty obvious that Leonard wants to be in a flashy city.
The Clippers could draw Leonard in by enticing him with another superstar. The team has the cap space to sign two max contract players this offseason.
Meanwhile, Leonard is at the top of his game since departing from the suffocating Popovich system, and finally has the freedom to express his offensive abilities. He’s averaging 27 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 49.9 percent from the field – an outstanding field goal percentage.
Leonard could leave the Raptors this season, but it most likely won’t be to the Lakers.