Details On Kawhi Leonard’s Decision, Free Agent Meetings

Kawhi Leonard‘s camp spoke to the Raptors about the possibility of acquiring Paul George or Bradley Beal, Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star reports. The franchise considered the request, though Masai Ujiri & Co. began to believe in the final days leading up to Leonard’s decision that Kawhi, who was in Toronto from Wednesday to Friday, was not serious about rejoining the defending champs.

Leonard was focused on the Clippers even as his championship run with the Raptors was ongoing, Arthur writes. His camp gauged Jimmy Butler‘s interest in teaming up with him in Los Angeles throughout the postseason and the Clippers had planned to go after the pairing. Butler ended up landing in Miami and it appeared that the title and the inability to get Butler had closed the gap between the Raptors and the Southern California franchise.

The Raptors engaged in trade talks with the Thunder, though Arthur cautions that Toronto never came close to acquiring George and writes that Russell Westbrook was not involved in those discussions. It was previously reported that Westbrook and George both could have been included in a potential package to the Raptors. Westbrook was open to the idea of playing with Leonard, Arthur hears.

Here’s more buzz surrounding the Final MVP’s decision to move to California:

  • The location for the Lakers’ meeting with Leonard was switched last minute to Westlake Village and only owner Jeanie Buss and GM Rob Pelinka were there, as per Leonard’s request, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com tweets. Shelburne adds that Leonard met with George near that location on the same day.
  • The Lakers knew their typical pitch, promising stardom and off-court fame, would not appeal to Leonard, Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times details. The team stuck to basketball in their hotel meeting with Leonard, attempting to sell him on winning a championship with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The meeting only lasted two hours.
  • Leonard and his uncle spoke to Magic Johnson prior to the Lakers‘ meeting, Ganguli adds. They had questions about Johnson’s recent comments on Pelinka where Johnson accused the former agent of betraying him. Johnson responded with praise for the organization and spoke highly of the Lakers’ front office. Johnson’s comments were not brought up in the Lakers’ short meeting, Ganguli hears.
  • The Lakers had no idea that Leonard wanted George as a teammate, per Ganguli. It was inconsequential, as Los Angeles had no real means of acquiring him from Oklahoma City since the club had already given up so many assets in the Anthony Davis deal.
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32 thoughts on “Details On Kawhi Leonard’s Decision, Free Agent Meetings

  1. bowserhound

    Have fun Head Case, we will be too busy hanging banners in your building.
    xoxo, Lakers

    • SWP7979

      Sore loser Laker fan. Y’all ain’t hanging any banners anytime soon. Have you looked at the roster?

      • yogineely

        No ones sore here except these two nerds requesting trades every season! Couldn’t make it work under pop, definitely not making it work with LA’s b squad

  2. Fearthebeard

    That’s nice the lakers are going to hand the clippers banners for them. I suppose it’s just they want to get their hands on them even if it’s by doing the clippers hanging for them!!!

    • hinglemccringleberry

      Clippers.Lol. Banners. Lol. Never even made it to the finals. Smh

  3. spinach

    Why all the stress on the two hour meeting being short? Doesn’t seem particularly short to me.

  4. Jason Lancaster

    What a piece of work Magic Johnson is. Calls out Pelinka and Buss on ESPN, then praises them to Leonard.

    All the ESPN reports about him abusing staff and just being a jerk sound completely correct. What a disappointment.

    • If Magic buried Pelinka and Buss to Leonard, you’d be calling him a piece of work for it. You know it.

  5. crowntowndodgerdog

    I think there’s less laker haters then there are hater laker fans.

    Clippers made the playoffs last year added the finals mvp and a runner up for mvp. What did the lakers do?

  6. deano

    Like I’ve been saying. Looks like KL knew he wasn’t going with Lakers so why not mess them up while you are at it?

    I’m having a little bit of a hard time getting this.
    1. He wins the championship with current Toronto Team. But asks if they could get Beal or PG because why? His team isn’t good enough?
    2. He had to have another superstar with the Clippers in order to go there….so he couldn’t do that without help?
    3. See number 2 above, but apparently 2 other super stars (Lakers) were too many?

    WTF?

    • C-Daddy

      He probably just didn’t want to play in LeBron’s shadow. He was always going back to LA and the Clippers were apparently willing to do anything to get him. As Raptors fans, we are supposed to be happy that he helped us win a championship and respect his decision to leave, but on some level it still feels like a betrayal.

      • specialfriedrice

        Well at least your team wasn’t extorted for a season before he left…consider that maybe.

        Grats on your Chip and thanks San Antonio

    • Reflect

      He didn’t want to play for the Lakers because the Lakers are not a good organization. It has nothing to do with the current roster. Good organizations don’t have front offices that publicly bash each other, or leaked trade requests that involve half the roster.

      • yogineely

        So Toronto, San Antonio, New Orleans, okc, Indiana, Minnesota, and Chicago are not good organizations? All have made trades for or traded away disgruntled stars

        • D$!LLKU$H-og

          Not sure those teams front offices were publicly bashing each other and leaking trade details. Most of that crap was because of Rich Paul, but usually a good FO doesn’t get strong armed by an agent.

          If the Lakers would have waited a bit on the AD trade, they could have pivoted and tried to get PG. Then instead of Bron and AD they’d of been Bron, PG and Kawhi. And most importantly, The Clips wouldn’t have PG and Kawhi.

  7. hinglemccringleberry

    So, he wanted Paul George over Lebron and Anthony Davis? I think he overplayed his hand. If Cousins comes back at 85 to 90%, it’s over. He’s the wild card on the Lakers as they’ll be unstoppable. The lakers big 3 can be the most lethal ever. More rim protectors than I can remember on a lakers team. I say Lebron averages 28 next year. Davis 25. Cousins 23. Kuzma 20. Plus the bench points.

    • doubleringer

      Cousins and Cuzma for 43 a night? I must try some of that you’re having. Makes you the LA LA land mirage man. Wise up Mr Dingleberry.

    • C-Daddy

      Four players on one team aren’t all averaging 20+ ppg. Even three players is a stretch. There’s only one ball.

  8. Boys181

    He is top 1 or 3 player in the nba .. but both 1 and 2 are snakes … in the end hopefully they don’t get squat .. and other teams will hang banners .. Lakers fans are the worse … go spurs go …

    • yogineely

      Please please go on about how were the worst… it has nothing to do with this article but please tell me more

      • Boys181

        Just like the fakers management.. let your big ego get the best of you.. oh we aren’t giving nothing for Paul George.. oh we aren’t giving nothing for Leonard… we just sit Back and they will come to us .. cus hey we are California.. we’re l.a. man the best organization ever … haha .. how did that work for ya… then get salty bout it afterwards .. that’s why ya are the worse …

  9. So, it really wasn’t about two specific players teaming up behind the scenes, or at least a pretty tame, and after the fact, example of it. Nothing was pre-planned, and KL didn’t really have a specific partner in mind. All of which ended up being the Clips’ problem as they had to make a deal on OKC’s terms. Clips end up big winners overall, but they’d have a stronger asset base if these two guys planned this ahead of time.

  10. I guess we’re the worst fans because 10 banners have been hung the last 40 years! Sounds like a pretty dominant organization!!! Go Lakers!

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