Heading into free agency, Kawhi Leonard is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the class. Even considering the loaded crop including Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson, Leonard nudges out Durant for the top spot based on his unbelievable two-way prowess (and health).
The Lakers have emerged as one of Leonard’s biggest suitors and the idea of pairing Leonard alongside fellow superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James has the LA front office salivating. In fact, Laker Fan Steve Aoki is so in on Kawhi to LA that he allowed a Kawhi mural to be painted outside his shop and offered Leonard free pizza for life!
Kawhi Leonard Free Agency Meetings Will ‘Ramp Up’ Over Coming Days [Report]
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that after a quiet day on the Leonard front, he plans to start ramping things up over the next few days. This makes sense considering how calculated Kawhi operates on the basketball court and when making one of the biggest decisions of his life, he is right to not simply jump into things just to make a splash. Kawhi intends to do his due diligence and make an informed decision on which franchise offers him the best opportunity to both win championships and grow his off-court “fun guy” brand.
Other Suitors For Kawhi Leonard In Free Agency Aside From Lakers
Along with the Lakers, the Clippers and his incumbent team, the Raptors, both figure to be the primary targets for Leonard at this time. Despite coming off a championship in Toronto, Kawhi had previously asked to be traded to Los Angeles and seems intrigued by the idea of playing for a historic franchise that could be poised for a dynasty run (on paper) should he decide to join forces.
However, Toronto has the ability to keep the band together and should Leonard decide to go back, he knows for a fact that he has a championship caliber roster in place and can immediately compete for a title again without much worry.
As far as the Clippers, they have an extremely strong supporting cast in place and are simply looking for a star to lead them to glory. Leonard fits Doc Rivers‘ aggressive defensive scheme well and would be an ideal fit to bring a championship to the Clippers and essentially turn himself into the “franchise savior” of the NBA.