Kawhi Leonard has bucked this year’s free agency trend by taking his time with a decision, and one anecdote from his college recruiting could give a major hint on just how long he is willing to wait.
While the majority of this year’s top free agents announced their decision before or just slightly after the free agency period started on Sunday evening, Leonard has stretched his meetings out over the course of several days and is taking his time making a final choice. Leonard met with his hometown teams in Los Angeles, the Clippers and Lakers, before letting the Toronto Raptors make the final pitch. There is no clear timeline about when Kawhi will make his final decision, and an anecdote posted to Twitter by KRON 4 News reporter Jason Dumas suggests that it could be a while.
As Dumas noted, the college recruitment for Kawhi Leonard looked something similar to his NBA free agency. Though Leonard was a standout high school player, he was lightly recruited by Pac-10 schools that couldn’t see where he would fit on the court, USA Today noted. Kawhi finally got an offer from San Diego State University but left it up in the air as to whether he would show up.
As Dumas noted, the basketball staff at SDSU had to literally wait until the first day to see if he would show up.
Everyone glued to their feeds waiting for Kawhi news to break: SDSU's coaching staff wasn't even positive he was coming until he showed up to the first day of summer school classes. They couldn't reach him for weeks.— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) July 4, 2019
Enjoy your holiday weekend. Kawhi definitely will.
Kawhi Leonard’s penchant for taking his time with decisions and being independent has continued into his free agency, where even the most connected NBA reporters have struggled to get a read on where he will go next. As The Inquisitr noted, reports earlier in the week speculated that the Los Angeles Lakers were in the driver’s seat and that Leonard had already eliminated the Clippers from contention. Yet that seemed to shift during his meeting with the Raptors, with new reports suggesting that the team he just took to its first NBA title was in the lead.
The Raptors have reportedly called on hometown rapper Drake as part of their pitch, offering Kawhi the chance to build his brand through Drake’s record label. Chris Broussard reported that Toronto’s pitch was a strong one and that the Lakers and Raptors are now in close contention.
Happy 4th of ... Kawhi ???? pic.twitter.com/jh1Sb29GKh— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) July 4, 2019
Kawhi Update: Raptors had strong meeting yesterday. Drake heavily involved. Talked of having Kawhi involved w/his OVO record label. Kawhi in deep soul searching. Wants Lakers but wants to make sure Big 3 will fit/work. Clippers out. It’s btwn Lakers & Raptors. Very close.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 4, 2019
Just when Kawhi Leonard could make a decision remains a closely guarded secret. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on SportsCenter, the decision will happen on Kawhi’s timetable and no one else’s, so “everyone is going to wait for him.”