The Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes are reportedly getting closer to its conclusion.
On Monday, reports indicated that the NBA Finals MVP had narrowed down the field by informing the Los Angeles Clippers that they were no longer in consideration. The report came from Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard, who reported that Kawhi was “leaning heavily toward the Lakers” and that sources close to Leonard confirmed that the Clippers were out of the running.
Broussard’s prediction was included in a now-deleted story from Fox Sports Radio, though it was captured elsewhere on social media, including the Lakers news page LakeShowWorld. It was not clear what the deleted story may mean for Leonard’s free agency, but Broussard has made it clear that the Lakers are a clear frontrunner.
“I’m being told the Lakers are Kawhi Leonard’s first choice. He and his camp spoke with Magic yesterday and laid out what they want from the Lakers,” Broussard had reported earlier on Monday, via Fox Sports Radio. “Nothing crazy, just some additions to the staff and asking ‘Is Kawhi going to be treated like LeBron [James] in the organization?’, and all of that. As long as Jeanie [Buss] doesn’t do anything to screw it up in the meeting I’m told that’s his first choice.”
There are others pegging the Lakers as the frontrunner for Kawhi Leonard, though there is some disagreement on his standing with the Clippers. Former NBA player Kendrick Perkins reported on Twitter that Kawhi was still planning to meet with the Clippers.
Just heard that Kawhi is meeting with the Clippers tonight but the Lakers hold the upper hand, unless Doc work his Magic tonight it’s looking very strong that Kawhi will be in Purple and Gold!!!
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) July 2, 2019
“I have been told that Kawhi is leaning HEAVILY towards the Lakers. I’ve talked to some people close to the situation who said Kawhi has talked to the LAC on a call & told them that they are out.”
— LakeShowWorld (@LakeShowWorld) July 2, 2019
Despite the speculation, there is little in the way of solid reports about Kawhi Leonard’s free agency decision. His camp has been very quiet about the entire process, including the scheduling of his visits. Unlike the majority of this year’s most sought-after free agents, Leonard appears to be taking his time with the decision.
While Kawhi’s camp is guarded about the decision, fans have turned to some creative sources to get their rumors. As the NBA playoffs were winding down, Kawhi’s sister took to Instagram to spark speculation about a jump to the Lakers. His sister, Meisha Slayton, liked an Instagram poll asking whether Leonard should join the Lakers next. A screenshot of the Instagram post shared on Imgur had Lakers fans excited about the possible signing. The rumors kicked up even more a few days later when Kawhi’s cousin responded to questions on an Instagram Live question about Leonard heading to the Lakers with the prediction, “Kawhi on the way.”
It remains to be seen whether the prediction will ring true.