As we head into day three of NBA Free Agency, things have ground to a halt as the NBA world waits on Kawhi Leonard‘s decision. With most of the premier free agents already off the books and few teams left with the necessary cap space to accommodate Leonard, his signing will likely dictate where the remaining free agents find themselves playing next season.
Among big names who are waiting on Leonard are players like DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus & Markieff Morris, and many more. Cousins, in particular, has a lot riding on Leonard’s free agency as it seems the market for his services has dried up and the only potential way for him to land a decent deal would be from one of the teams that strike out on Leonard. Otherwise, Cousins may be back in the same situation as last year on a “prove it” deal playing for less money.
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Kawhi Leonard’s Free Agency Decision Not Coming Soon, Says Shams
Despite the already slow start to Leonard’s free agency, The Athletic’s Shams Charania took to NBA TV and painted an even slower picture. While he indicates Leonard has met extensively with his family and management team, he doesn’t give much indication that meetings with actual teams (Lakers, Clippers, and Raptors) have really started. In fact, says that the meetings could extend through the entire week.
Leonard has earned the right to take his time in free agency and make a calculated decision, however, the two teams he leaves out in the cold will be facing a barren free agent market to try and allocate their newly liquid cap money towards. With what would be left on the market, the two teams would likely be best suited to pursue short term contracts in order to free up cap space and hit the free agent market again as soon as possible.
Lakers’ Kawhi Leonard Free Agency Chances
Without much actual information coming out around Kawhi Leonard’s free agency plans, it is tough to say exactly what the Lakers’ chances at landing him are. While they are most certainly one of the three teams Leonard is actively considering, no updates have come out surrounding any official meetings or pitches.
While recent odds give the Lakers the best chance to win the 2020 NBA Title – and the odds have been actively climbing despite no Kawhi news – it isn’t enough to definitively say if the Lakers have the upper hand for Kawhi.
Social media and former players seem to think that Kawhi to the Lakers is a done deal at this point, however, none of them have close ties to Kawhi and thus their predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. While the NBA is a close brotherhood where word gets around fast, Kawhi keeps a notoriously quiet circle and is one of the most misunderstood players in the league.