LeBron James On Facing Kawhi Leonard: ‘It’s Always Great To Compete Versus...

LeBron James On Facing Kawhi Leonard: ‘It’s Always Great To Compete Versus The Best’

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John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the 2018-19 NBA season, one of the major storylines has been Kawhi Leonard’s future with the Toronto Raptors after the San Antonio Spurs traded him there.

While the Raptors have a legitimate chance of making it to the 2019 NBA Finals, reports still have Leonard ‘focused’ on Los Angeles after he purchased a home in San Diego.

Despite the L.A. Clippers reportedly being the heavy favorite over the Lakers, it did not stop LeBron James from complimenting Leonard.

Following the 111-98 loss to the Raptors, James had the ultimate praise for the upcoming free agent, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“It’s always great to compete versus the best. Me and Kawhi have been doing it quite a while now. It’s always a pleasure and it’s always fun.”

As Leonard headlines an extremely talented 2019 free agency class, it appears James also told him ‘we’ll be in touch’ after the game.

Although the narrative has changed since the Lakers are on the brink of missing the playoffs, they do have $38 million in salary cap space. While it appears Leonard and the top free agents are either re-signing or signing elsewhere, a lot can change from now to July 1.

For Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, they still have options despite all of the recent criticism. If they are unable to land a second All-Star player via free agency or trade, they do need to surround James and the young core with rim protectors and 3-and-D players.