The 2018-19 NBA season hasn’t even started yet, but many are already focused on next summer’s free agency and, in particular, Kawhi Leonard. The belief is that Leonard wants to come to Los Angeles in 2019, either to join the Lakers or Clippers.
But there is already speculation flying around that he is warming up to the idea of playing in Toronto. The Raptors have won over 50 games in each of the last three seasons, had the best record in the East last year and made an appearance in the Conference Finals.
With LeBron James now in the West, and the addition of Leonard, some believe the Raptors could make a trip to the NBA Finals this season. Apparently, none of that matters when it comes to the beliefs of the Lakers and Clippers.
During an appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Chris Broussard said the Clippers, and Lakers and LeBron James are equally confident in their chances to sign Leonard in 2019 free agency:
“He’s going to L.A. I would say this, Toronto could win the title, and he still would probably go to L.A. … I’m hearing two things. I’m hearing he’s definitely going to be a Laker. And from other people, I’m hearing he’s definitely going to be a Clipper. And these are people supposedly in the know. The Clippers are convinced they’re getting him. They think he doesn’t want to be in LeBron’s shadow. And just as convinced as the Clippers are, LeBron and the Lakers, not just the Lakers, LeBron and the Lakers, are convinced Kawhi is coming.”
The Lakers and Clippers will both undoubtedly be pursuing Leonard next summer with the belief that he is on the way, but of course plenty can change before that time comes.
The Paul George situation this summer just proved that, and regardless of what the rumors are, nothing is set in stone until the contract is signed.
After missing the majority of last season Leonard has the chance to remind everyone that he is one of the best players in the league. If that happens, the Lakers will undoubtedly look to pair him with James as the second superstar.