With Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers rumors heating up, it appears the All-Star forward is doing his due diligence as NBA free agency begins. NBA rules stipulate that Magic Johnson cannot be part of the official pitch meeting for the Lakers, but that does not mean the two cannot talk privately. The Los Angeles Times Broderick Turner reported that Leonard spoke with Johnson on Sunday.
During the conversation, Leonard asked Johnson if the Lakers tried to trade for him when he was with the Spurs. Silver Screen and Roll detailed Turner’s comments on the Spectrum Sportsnet show about Leonard’s conversation.
There was one interesting question (Leonard) had for Magic: ‘Did you guys try to trade for me when I was in San Antonio?’ And the answer was ‘yes, but because it was Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs, and our history, they were asking for 2,000 draft picks — well, not 2,000 — like four draft picks, first-round draft picks, and we just couldn’t do that.’ And that was one of his questions.
As expected, Leonard’s Uncle Dennis Robertson has been involved in the process. Robertson also spoke with Johnson, but his questions involved more of the reported dysfunction inside the Lakers organization, Turner reported.
The uncle’s questions were ‘what’s really going on in the organization between you, Jeanie, Rob Pelinka, everyone? Is it as dysfunctional as we’re reading and hearing?’ And the response was ‘we had some issues, but we’re past that. I’m past that. We’re still a family, such as you fight with your brothers and sisters sometimes, well, I had somewhat of a disagreement with my sister. And Rob Pelinka, yes, I said he was a back-stabber, but that happened then. Now I want the Lakers to be a championship team. Having Kawhi here would do that.
Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers Rumors Are “Getting Stronger & Stronger”
As both L.A. teams pursue Leonard, it appears the Lakers have the upper hand. Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard reported that “rumblings [are] getting stronger and stronger” of Leonard signing with the Lakers.
“Kawhi to Lakers rumblings getting stronger & stronger. Iguodala likely to join Lakers after Memphis buyout. Danny Green & Seth Curry in Lakers’ scope. Lakers offered Rondo vet minimum & 24 hours to decide. Lakers on verge of building powerhouse,” Broussard tweeted.
Kawhi Is in “No Rush” to Make a Free Agency Decision
While the Lakers believe they are the favorite, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Leonard is in “no rush” to make a decision about his future. This could be good news for Clippers and Raptors fans with most of the news coming out so far about Leonard involving the Lakers. While there were earlier reports that no formal meetings took place for Leonard, it appears he was in communication with at least the Lakers via a phone conversation.