On Sunday, the majority of the marquee players on the market came off the board in free agency. However, Kawhi Leonard was not among those to quickly sign a new contract.
After leading the Raptors to their first championship in franchise history, Leonard has solidified his status as the best free agent this summer. He’s still in his prime and should immediately make whichever team he joins one of the favorites for next year’s NBA Finals.
While basketball fans around the world are eager to learn where he’ll sign, it sounds like they’ll have to wait a little longer.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski went on ESPN’s Get Up to reveal when Leonard could make his official decision.
“I’m told he has a willingness to play it out this week and take time to think,” Wojnarowski said on Get Up. “There’s a possibility there may not be a decision until later in the week.”
Here is the segment from Get Up:
"There's a possibility there may not be a decision until later in the week."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 2, 2019
The three suitors for Leonard are the Clippers, Lakers and Raptors.
Last night, there were rumblings that the Los Angeles Clippers fell out of the running for the All-Star forward. Clearly, the franchise is still in the hunt for his services.
Wojnarowski also reiterated that Leonard will give Toronto the final meeting this week.
The Lakers are believed by some to be the favorite, and ESPN’s Ryen Russillo outlined LeBron James’ recruiting pitch on Wojnarowski’s podcast:
From what I’ve heard, and I know you trust me with this just because I have these weird relationships, especially living out here in Los Angeles now. The Kawhi pitch, whether it is from the Lakers or LeBron, is this: LeBron is basically saying, ‘Hey, this is going to be your team in two years.’ I have heard this for years, but LeBron at one point wants to play with his son. And depending on when that happens, that is going to be his priority and that may not be with the Lakers. So, I don’t know when that is going to be and that [is why LeBron is] willing to defer. LeBron is saying for the first time in his basketball life that he is willing to defer the style of play.
They are going to tell [Kawhi] anything he wants to hear. They are going to tell Kawhi, ‘You can take all the last shots. We can run the offense through you.’ And LeBron has a style of play that could, I’d say, adapt to another guy like that. Anthony Davis puts up massive numbers without being selfish so I could see it working.
Stay tuned for all the latest on Leonard this free agency.