There’s no question that Kawhi Leonard is locked in on doing anything possible to lead the Toronto Raptors to the 2019 NBA Finals. But the chatter around his upcoming free agency will remain a talking point within the media, and that hasn’t changed even with the playoffs starting.
If anything, the rumors and reports involving Leonard’s future have only picked up steam. And while the Raptors’ success is the forward’s primary focus at this point, many fans want to know whether it will remain that way during the 2019-20 season and beyond. Although there’s no clear-cut answer to that just yet, a number of interesting pieces of information have come to light as of late.
Specifically, it appears that Leonard may have more interest in remaining with the Raptors than heading to New York.
Knicks Free Agency Outlook for Kawhi Leonard
In an interesting breakdown of the current state of the New York Knicks and their future moving forward, Leonard’s situation was brought up. This came in an article written by ESPN’s Ian Begley, who pointed out that while New York was a possible landing spot for Leonard prior to his trade, that may not mean much for free agency.
If Durant, Irving — or both — decide to sign elsewhere, it would leave the Knicks in a tough spot. They could go after Kawhi Leonard — people close to Leonard saw New York as a possible destination for him prior to his trade to the Toronto Raptors — but the general feeling around the league is that Leonard is more likely to end up with the Clippers or back in Toronto than a team in New York.
Assuming this proves to be true, it’s a big boost for both the Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers, who could be in a close competition for Leonard this offseason. With that said, the other team in Los Angeles won’t go down without a fight of their own.
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Lakers’ Jeanie Buss Wants Kawhi Leonard in Free Agency
The Los Angeles Lakers are locked in on adding a star to pair with LeBron James this offseason, but who that will be is going to remain the big question. Just weeks ago, NBA analyst Ric Bucher joined FOX Sports’ Undisputed and revealed that Lakers President Jeanie Buss is locked in on Leonard.
“The big fish that Jeanie Buss wants is Kawhi Leonard,” Bucher stated on Undisputed.
Obviously, this doesn’t necessarily mean all that much in the grand scheme, especially if Leonard prefers the Clippers over the Lakers. With that said, LeBron could certainly jump into the mix and make a recruitment push for the Raptors star this offseason.
Whether or not that would be enough to help persuade Leonard to join the Lakers is unknown. As of now, the latest rumblings point to the Clippers and Raptors being at the forefront, with the Lakers and Knicks potentially battling to stay in the mix.