Kawhi Leonard can’t seem to enjoy his post-NBA Title glow without family members getting in the way.
Just days after he led the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first-ever championship, Leonard has been tossed into the rumor mill after two separate family members have suggested that he is planning to leave the Raptors in favor of the Los Angeles Lakers. The first was from his sister, who liked an Instagram poll asking whether Kawhi should join the Lakers next. A screenshot of the Instagram post shared on Imgur showed that Meisha Slayton, Kawhi’s sister, was among those who agreed on him joining the Lakers.
His cousin has now joined in as well. On Saturday, Kawhi’s cousin was broadcasting a video on Instagram Live when several users asked him if it was true that the Raptors forward was headed to the Lakers.
“Kawhi on the way,” his cousin shared, repeating the information as others asked about Kawhi’s future plans.
The admission came within hours of the announcement of the blockbuster deal sending Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for a huge package of players and draft picks. There has been much speculation about what other moves the Lakers are prepared to make, with a number of players being suggested as other targets. While Kemba Walker has been suggested more frequently as an addition, Kawhi’s name has occasionally popped up in the rumors regarding the Lakers future.
This is not the first time that Kawhi Leonard’s family has fueled some rumors about his next destination, and Instagram is usually involved in some way. After the Raptors finished off the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the team’s first-ever NBA Finals, Kawhi’s sister again stole some of his thunder with an Instagram Live video that appeared to reveal his future plans.
As USA Today pointed out, Slayton showed a video of a group celebrating his win when someone in the background could be heard saying, “They know darn well he ain’t gonna be there next year.” She later clarified that the person was not a family member and didn’t have any inside knowledge of Kawhi’s plans, but the accumulation of family members hinting about a move to the Lakers has intrigued fans of the team.
Kawhi's cousin with a like and comment from Kawhi's sister pic.twitter.com/j8oLfUeXX5— Boogie Bousins (@bansky) June 16, 2019
For his part, Kawhi Leonard has not spoken about any desire to leave the Raptors and certainly not given any hints that he is headed for the Los Angeles Lakers.