For the entirety of Kawhi Leonard‘s professional basketball career there has been one constant, Danny Green. Green was in San Antonio for all of Kawhi’s seven seasons there before being shipped off together to the Toronto Raptors. Green is coming off an excellent year for the Raptors where he shot a blistering 45.5% from three as a crucial role player for the Raptors as they won an NBA title.
If Lakers’ Sign Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green Could Follow
Leonard and Green have a natural chemistry on the basketball court and Green serves as a safety valve behind the perimeter for Leonard to kick out to when things go awry. While Green hasn’t given much indication as far as where he will sign yet, the general feeling is that he might try to prioritize following Leonard wherever he goes.
“If Toronto brings everyone back, I think we have a really good shot of coming out of the East again. So why would I not want to be there? But things change and things move. [If the Raptors can’t bring everyone back], there are going to be other teams who are in the running and I want to see what those situations are. Obviously, I want to maximize on the dollar, but I also want to maximize on the situation. I know I’m not an All-Star or star player, but I want to be remembered as a great role player who won a lot of games and leave my mark in the league.”
While Danny Green could clearly command more money elsewhere in free agency, it seems his priority is to continue winning. The fact that Green is even listening to a team like the Lakers in free agency means he would be willing to take a sizeable pay cut in order to play a role on a historic NBA team. This would likely indicate that if Leonard takes his talents to Los Angeles, Green could follow and offer crucial shooting and defense off the bench.
On the flip side, Green also says that if Toronto can bring “everyone” (read Kawhi) back that he would love to run things back in Toronto. The Raptors won the championship and if they are able to keep things together, there isn’t any reason to think that they wouldn’t be expected to at least come out of the East again.
All in all, it seems that Leonard’s decision in free agency is going to boil down to what Kawhi Leonard does. Green likes the money, but his mark on history and ability to win rings are what clearly matters most to him.
Other Lakers Free Agency Targets
Aside from Green and Leonard, the Lakers are looking to potentially bring back Rajon Rondo. Rondo has experience playing with new addition Anthony Davis and was a key part in Davis’ best NBA season to date. Rondo prefers to pass rather than shoot which should be a perfect fit on the Lakers, especially if they land Kawhi Leonard. Kyle Korver is another interesting target for the Lakers as while he doesn’t provide much defense, he provides crucial floor spacing to allow Davis and James to go to work inside.