Why Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers May be All Smoke and Mirrors

July 04, 2019 - 11:01 am

Kawhi Leonard met with Magic Johnson to discuss anything and everything about potentially playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. There's just one problem: Johnson spilled the beans about the conversation, which Leonard probably didn't appreciate.

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Did Johnson hurt the Lakers' chances of landing Leonard?

"No, because I don't believe that there was ever a serious traction with Kawhi going to the Lakers," NBA TV analyst Jared Greenberg said on The DA Show. "Nobody knows what Kawhi is thinking - nobody. So anybody who says that they have insight into what Kawhi is doing is just clueless because (Leonard's camp is) doing an incredible job of keeping this airtight, which I really respect, and they're not taking a long time to do this. It's July 3. We're in the third day of free agency. Just because people jumped the gun quick doesn't mean that he's taking a long time.

"With that said, I just find it funny that the only quote-unquote rumors that we're hearing is only from Lakers camp," Greenberg continued. "I haven't heard a peep from the Clippers, I haven't heard a peep about the Raptors - and for the last 12 months, the quote-unquote favorite has been the Clippers, and over the last six months we have included the Raptors into the conversation. And now all of a sudden because the Lakers got Anthony Davis and created this cap space - but have really no one else other than Kyle Kuzma - they're the preferred destination? Come on."

While Leonard will surely consider numerous factors before making a free-agent decision, trust is extremely important to him. From that standpoint, the Raptors might be the best fit.

"It's trust mostly about taking care of his body, but trust on how he deals with the media, trust on how he does appearances - its a full trust factor," Greenberg said. "If the Lakers are going out and leaking these stories - specifically Magic Johnson, who has nothing to do on a real basis with the Lakers is leaking this - then how can Kawhi trust the Lakers to manage his body, his media appearances, his public appearances for the next four years? This is kind of a microcosm of the dysfunction that he may not want to deal with for the long-term."

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