The seven-footer out of Illinois enjoyed a nine-year NBA career as a backup for the Trail Blazers and Heat, before injuries and controversy ended his run in 2021. While recovering from season-ending surgeries to his shoulder and ankle in 2021, Leonard used an antisemitic slur during a live stream of a video game on Twitch. He was quickly fined $50K and suspended by Miami, then was traded to the Thunder and cut before the end of the 2020/21 NBA season.
To his credit, Leonard completed training in a league-mandated cultural diversity program and has since apologized for his behavior. He has not been rostered, in the NBA or internationally, ever since. Charania adds (via Twitter) that Leonard has logged significant time in the intervening years with Jewish leaders and been involved with the Jewish community.
Still just 30, Leonard represents an athletic and intriguing option for Los Angeles. A career 39% three-point shooter on 1.9 attempts, he could help spread the floor for one of the league’s least efficient three-point shooting clubs.
The Lakers currently have every spot on their 15-man standard roster occupied, but swingman Sterling Brown is on a 10-day contract and has yet to score a basket across three games, so he may not be long for L.A.