In the middle of an epic playoff run and on the verge of hitting free agency this offseason, Kawhi Leonard may have played himself into the spot of the premier free agent this summer and is giving Kevin Durant a serious run for the most valuable offseason target.
Leonard is one of the main free agents who has been named repeatedly in rumors regarding the Lakers, partly because he grew up in Southern California. If we know one thing for sure about Leonard, it is that he probably won’t even think about making this decision until after the NBA Finals come to a close.
Kawhi Leonard Lakers: Latest on The Klaw’s Free Agency Outlook
At this point, nobody knows anything for certain on what Kawhi Leonard is up to this offseason. His incredible run in Toronto could endear him to the city and cause him to stick around but Leonard has given no indication either way. To make matters murkier, Leonard is a man of few words and most media sources don’t have much of a pulse on his actions.
While reports have come out that LeBron is actively recruiting Kawhi to the Lakers, it is unknown if the interest is mutual at this point or simply just a figment of Laker fans’ imaginations. Leonard was born and raised in Southern California and while he denies being a Lakers fan growing up, he has gone on record saying that the Kobe-Shaq dynasty is what helped get him into basketball to begin with.
Kawhi Leonard’s Epic NBA Finals Run
While the Raptors made a number of additions from last season’s talented, but overmatched roster, none have had the level of impact that Kawhi Leonard is imposing on the finals. Making a case for why he is the best player on the planet, Leonard has dominated the playoffs to the tune of 31.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game through game four of the NBA Finals.
With Herculean performances to will the Raptors over the 76ers (including an epic series winning buzzer-beater) and pull Toronto from a 2-0 hole against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, Leonard has come through big when Toronto has needed him most. His game isn’t as fluid or flashy as Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry but he is a brutally efficient scorer with an unmatched ability to change the momentum on the defensive side of the ball.