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Lakers Reportedly Emerge As "True Threat" To Land Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard running up the court.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors runs down the floor in the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on January 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly emerged as a "true threat" to land Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

According to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Lakers - not the Los Angeles Clippers - are the favorite team in Los Angeles to land the star free agent.

The Lakers emerged over the past week after the team created a max slot by shipping three players and a draft pick to the Washington Wizards.

Now they're in position to land the game's best two-way player.

"With free agency a day and change away, it's the Lakers who have convinced Las Vegas -- and an increasing number of league insiders -- that they are LA's true threat to limiting Kawhi Leonard's Raptors career to a single season. Not the Clippers," Stein reported late Friday night.

Stein isn't alone in his reporting.

Earlier Friday morning, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith suggested Leonard was interested in meeting with the Lakers.

On Friday morning's Get Up, Stephen A. "received word that [Kawhi Leonard] is seriously considering the Los Angeles Lakers."

Leonard reportedly asked for a meeting with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson.

The Lakers, Clippers and Raptors are believed to be the three teams in contention to land Kawhi.