Heading into free agency on June 30, general manager Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers will be armed with a max-contract slot to pursue a third All-Star player.
While there have been debates about whether the Lakers should sign an All-Star player or 2-3 role players, all of the attention is on Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving now.
As Leonard reportedly ‘intends to grant’ the Lakers a meeting after they successfully created the max-contract slot, there are new and exciting details emerging.
Leonard’s camp reportedly will meet with owner Jeanie Buss and former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, according to Brad Turner of Los Angeles Times:
Sources. Kawhi Leonard’s people plan on meeting with Lakers president Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson next week when free agency starts. Will most likely be in LA
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) June 28, 2019
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are expected to be a part of the meeting, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic:
With the Lakers now expected to land a Kawhi Leonard meeting, a source tells @TheAthletic that LeBron James AND Anthony Davis are planning on being part of the formal pitch.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 28, 2019
Through all of the conflicting reports, it appears the Lakers will be able to meet with Leonard. Although the narrative changed to the Los Angeles Clippers, Leonard’s preferred destination was the Lakers after his trade request.
Since the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals, some feel Leonard will re-sign while others believe this gives him a chance to leave.
As it currently stands, the Raptors do have an opportunity to win it again as Marc Gasol accepted his player option and Danny Green is the only free agent out of the team’s core.
However, with James and Davis, the Lakers do provide the 27-year-old the best opportunity to compete for championships for the next 2-3 seasons — at the very least.
After the drama-filled start to the offseason since Johnson’s resignation, the Lakers landing perhaps three of the top five players in the league would certainly be something.
While it is the ultimate dream scenario, the Lakers still have options regardless of what happens with Leonard.