As the days roll on, the rumblings, rumors and reports surrounding Kawhi Leonard’s free agency are ramping up. But the latest chatter around his decision between the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers certainly stands out. This is due to the fact that a social media post from rapper Preme, who’s a friend of Raptors Global Ambassador Drake, is going a bit viral.
While it was revealed that Drake would be putting together a recruitment pitch for Leonard, Preme’s comments are noteworthy. As Kevin Rashidi revealed with a tweet which referred to Preme as Drake’s “close friend,” the rapper stated that Leonard is returning to the Raptors.
*Update: The post was removed, but a screenshot of the photo is shown below.
“Kawhi signs to the Raps. U heard it here first. It’s lit 🇨🇦 🏆” Preme posted.
It’s obviously interesting to see, but it should also be taken with a grain of salt. We’ve seen a number of rumors and reports over recent days pointing to Leonard landing with the Lakers, Raptors and even the Clippers. At this point, it’s truly anyone’s guess, and it’s also unknown if Preme has really heard much on Leonard’s future, or if he’s just hyping up the fanbase a bit.
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Drake Puts Together ‘Recruiting Campaign’ for Kawhi Leonard
While it’s unknown how Drake’s recruitment of Leonard went (or if it wound up happening), the fact that he was set to put together a pitch to the forward was interesting to hear. As Marc Stein of the New York Times reported previously, Drake said he was rolling out his own recruiting campaign.
“The Raptors haven’t backed off one centimeter and Drake is said to be mounting his own recruiting campaign on top of whatever the freshly minted champions are doing to convince him to stay” Stein tweeted.
It’s widely known how close the rapper is to the Raptors, as he’s their Global Ambassador. Beyond that, as Josephine Cruz of Complex.com revealed previously, the team’s practice facility is named after Drake’s popular OVO brand. The 68,000 square foot building with two floors is now called the ‘OVO Athletic Centre’ after previously being labeled the BioSteel Centre.
The NBA offered an inside look of sorts at the practice facility, which features two full-size courts, a medical and rehab center, fitness room and player lounge, among other things.
Drake’s connection with the Raptors also goes beyond this, as he’s also paired with the team to do off-court work. This includes creating the ‘Welcome Toronto’ program which donated $1 million to help refurbish local basketball courts and send $2 million to Canada Basketball, as Complex revealed.
Delay on Kawhi Leonard’s Decision Could Impact Lakers Soon
When looking at Leonard’s free agency decision, there’s a lot to be factored in for all parties involved. But specifically, the Lakers could wind up in a tough spot if he hasn’t made a decision by the end of the upcoming weekend, as Heavy.com’s Anthony Koon revealed.
In a tweet posted by Adam Kaufman of WBZ NewsRadio, ESPN’s Bobby Marks joined the Golic and Wingo show and offered some interesting insight on the situation. If Leonard’s decision goes beyond the end of the moratorium, which is July 6 at 12 p.m. ET, the Lakers could risk losing their max free agency slot.
The Lakers need to sign a max free agent prior to the Anthony Davis trade being processed, or they would have to persuade the New Orleans Pelicans to hold off a bit longer on pushing the deal through. Obviously, it’s unknown how that would play out, but the Pelicans are fairly unlikely to have interest in waiting much longer.