LeBron hoping to chat with Kawhi, but reports suggest Clippers are a real threat.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's rumored free agency plans have been the focal point of the NBA's upcoming offseason, but the two All Stars are far from the only highly-coveted players set to test the market. For instance, two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard will also be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Following Toronto's 111-98 victory over the Lakers Thursday night, cameras picked up a brief interaction between Leonard and LeBron James, which will surely add to the speculation that the two Finals MVPs could be teaming up in L.A.
There hasn't been much talk this season about where Kawhi will sign, due to his introverted nature, but it has long been rumored that he hopes to return to California.
Leonard, 27, was born in Los Angeles and played his college ball at San Diego State before being selected 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 2011 NBA Draft. As we know, he was immediately traded to the San Antonio Spurs, where he spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career.
Despite Leonard's reported desire to play in L.A., it appears LeBron might have to look elsewhere for his next sidekick.
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
During an appearance on Brian Windhorst's podcast last week, ESPN's Michael C. Wright reported he's been told Kawhi doesn't have interest in signing with the Lakers.
"That's just what I've been told," Wright said (H/T Bleacher Report). "It's what I've been told going back to last summer. I don't see that as something that's happening. I think he goes to the Clippers."
In his first season with the Raptors, Kawhi is averaging a career-high 27 points per game in addition to 7.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per night.
Toronto, 49-20, is currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference, 2.5 games back of the Milwaukee Bucks.