For Kawhi Leonard, the chance to be part of one of the best “Big Threes” in NBA history may not be enough to attract him to Los Angeles.
As the NBA Finals MVP weighs his free agency decision, Ric Bucher reported on Undisputed that Kawhi has likely been grilling the Lakers about how they would build the team around the Big Three of himself, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. Bucher said that Kawhi knows what it takes to build a championship, having played on some very well-rounded title squads in San Antonio and now Toronto, and wants to make sure the Lakers have the full roster needed to compete.
Bucher said he doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of what Kawhi Leonard might be asking the Lakers, but the amount of time Leonard is putting into the decision shows that he is being thorough and needs to know the Lakers plan to compete.
“They want to know, what does the rest of the Lakers roster look like,” Bucher said. “Who else is going to be coming here, how are we going to fill this out?”
After it appeared earlier in the week that the Lakers were in the lead to land Kawhi, new reports have cast more uncertainty over the decision. Leonard heard pitches from the Lakers and Clippers before jetting off to Toronto to let the Raptors make the final pitch. Just a few days, Bucher reported that Kawhi could be considering a one-year contract to stay with the Raptors and defend their NBA title.
“Someone is saying they think Toronto has a very good shot for the Raptors to sign Kawhi to a one-year deal,” Bucher said, via Fox Sports Radio. “He can take the one year, then that puts him in the category of a super max for bigger money and ultimately has the opportunity to run it back in the Eastern Conference. If he stays in Toronto, they are the prohibitive favorites to win another championship.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 5, 2019
The sentiment seems to have shifted away from short-term deals, though the Toronto Raptors could still be in the lead. As The Inquisitr noted, rapper Drake has even gotten involved by offering Kawhi Leonard the chance to play a role in his record label. One of the main reasons Kawhi left the San Antonio Spurs was to have a better chance to market himself to sponsors, so Drake’s offer could be important in keeping Kawhi in Toronto.