Lakers Rumors: Latest on Kawhi Leonard and Post-Anthony Davis Trade Plans

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New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) participates in warm ups before an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Monday, March 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

All eyes remain on the Los Angeles Lakers as a triumphant front office next turns its attention to carving out a nice supporting cast for the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

Or add another superstar, of course. 

This is the Lakers, so the expectation remains the superstar duo and front office could still lure another max-type player to town, such as Kawhi Leonard, then worry about actually filling out the rest of the roster. 

All the chips seem to be falling into place, too, with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reporting Davis waived his $4 million trade kicker, meaning the Lakers have enough wiggle room to add another max player. The latest rumors only add more weight to the idea. 


Kawhi Leonard

Ben Margot/Associated Press

It turns out the Lakers should at least get a meet with Leonard. 

Leonard declined his player option with the Toronto Raptors and is at least doing his due diligence. And even if it doesn’t seem like any team could rip him away from the champions, the Lakers will at least apparently have a shot at trying. 

Wojnarowski reported the Raptors will always get a final shot at Leonard in any scenario, but he is visiting with both Los Angeles teams.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports added more: 

“Leonard intends to grant the Lakers and the Clippers meetings when free agency opens on June 30, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The meetings would be held in Los Angeles, sources said. Leonard, who declined his $21.3 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent, plans to meet with a handful of teams—including the Raptors—before making a decision about his future, sources said.”

At this point, Leonard doesn’t need much of an introduction. The two-time NBA Finals MVP is still only about to be 28 years old and put up a career-best 26.6 points per game in Toronto last year while shooting 49.6 percent from the floor and 37.1 percent from deep, never mind the usual two-way elite play. 

The “how” of a fit on the court with LeBron and Davis is something everyone will figure out later. He’d help the instant-contention idea right now and make the post-LeBron era smoother. But Leonard will have to decide whether he wants to join a “superteam” or if he’d prefer one of the other two locales. 


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