We long thought the Clippers would be the team that could lure Kawhi Leonard away from Toronto. However, the Lakers are emerging as the true threat.
The Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes are heating up fast, and one team has emerged as the “true threat” to lure the superstar away from the Toronto Raptors.
No, it’s not the Los Angeles Clippers, a team we’ve long pegged as the favorite to bring Kawhi home. It’s, to the shock of all of us, the Los Angeles Lakers, who have made some offseason splashes that reportedly have the Raptors front office quite nervous.
Over the past 24 hours, numerous reports, including an infamous “Woj Bomb,” has stated that the Lakers have seriously upped their recruiting efforts to get Kawhi, and Leonard appears willing to listen. Sam Amick of The Athletic has reported that both LeBron James and new Laker Anthony Davis will be part of the recruiting pitch to Kawhi to bringing him into the Laker fold.
According to a tweet from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Magic Johnson told the reporter that a “friend of his” called him to say that Kawhi wanted to speak with him.
That had Raptors fans a bit queasy. Why would Kawhi want to have a meeting with Magic Johnson?
If Ramona’s tweet wasn’t enough to send Raptors fans into a quiet panic, then this story with Adrian Wojnarowski certainly did.
In it, Woj and Shelbourne reported that Kawhi and Kevin Durant have been discussing some scenarios that could, ultimately, have the two stars playing together. While that rules out the Lakers, there are only two teams that can offer them the luxury of doing this — the Clippers and the New York Knicks.
Add in the lure of the Lakers, who have made themselves huge players in this year’s free agency, and you have the makings of what could very well be an exit stage right (or down south) for Kawhi.
The Raptors can still offer Kawhi the most money, but as we all know of Leonard, money is not a factor for him.
Let the bidding wars begin.