In addition to the expected meetings with the Raptors and Clippers, Kawhi Leonard will have a sit down with the Los Angeles Lakers once free agency opens. The Lakers have the ability to sign a max player now that Anthony Davis has waived his $4 million trade kicker.
Here is a ranking of those three rumored destinations:
3. Los Angeles Lakers: Leonard would be the Lakers’ best player but treated as their third. It makes no sense for Leonard to join LeBron James at this point in his career. The trio of Leonard, James, and Anthony Davis would admittedly fit well on the court. But there doesn’t appear to be any upside for Leonard in doing it. He can win rings as the lead option for several other teams. And teams that will be far less drama-filled. You could sell him that it is Los Angeles, but …
2. Los Angeles Clippers: At one point this season, it felt like a foregone conclusion that the Raptors were just renting Leonard until he bolted for the Clippers in the summer. Much of this had to do with his rumored desire of being in Los Angeles and not wanting to play with James (which, who knows now). The Clippers make sense on the floor; last season, with no star, they gave the Warriors their biggest challenge in the West. With Leonard, the Clippers would instantly become title contenders. Oh, and the best team in Los Angeles at a time the other team in the city has LeBron James. Believe it or not, Leonard would pay less in taxes by going to Los Angeles. I know, crazy.
1. Toronto Raptors: With the Lakers or Clippers, Leonard would have a chance to win his third NBA championship. Next season with the Raptors, they would come into the season with the best team in the NBA. There is no reason the Raptors can’t do what they just did again. In fact, they should be prohibitive favorites if Leonard stays with them. The current roster complements Leonard’s style and the city, and even country, look at him as a national hero. The grass may look greener in Los Angeles, but how much greener could it be than the pastures he currently grazes in? Stay, Kawhi.