Kawhi to meet with Lakers and Clippers in LA, before final free agency meeting with Raptors.
The Los Angeles Lakers opened up enough cap space to sign a third superstar on Thursday, as they traded away Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards as part of the Anthony Davis deal with New Orleans. Additionally, Anthony Davis waived his $4.1M trade kicker, which gives the Lakers $32M to play with when free agency officially opens on 6pm ET this Sunday, June 30.
And now, the Lakers have reportedly secured a meeting with two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. According to Yahoo's Chris Haynes, "Leonard intends to grant the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers meetings when free agency opens on June 30."
A recent report suggested that Kawhi is "seriously considering" returning to the Raptors, where he is eligible to sign a supermax contract. On a recent episode of "Get Up," ESPN's Brian Windhorst explained that the Clippers are "hyperventilating right now" in fear of Leonard leaning towards Toronto. The Clippers now have to worry about big brother poaching their coveted free agent as well.
"Internally, they’re hyperventilating right now,” ESPN Brian Windhorst explained. “I think Kawhi will give the Knicks a look. I think his decision will be staying with the Raptors, likely on a short deal, a one-plus-one deal. Or look at the LA Clippers where he can invest in going forward.”
Leonard, 27, is eligible to sign a five-year, $190 million supermax contract with the Raptors, while other teams, like the Lakers and Clippers, can offer a max of four-years, $140.6 million. The three-time All Star averaged 26.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in the regular season while leading Toronto to its first NBA title this past season.