Leonard has been in exceptional form for the Toronto Raptors during the 2019 NBA Playoffs so far, and broke numerous records during their Conference semifinals win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
But while the 2014 NBA Finals MVP is aiming to lead Toronto to their first NBA Finals appearance, there is plenty of focus on what he will plan to do this offseason.
The LA Clippers have emerged as the heavy favourites to sign him, but the Lakers will be hoping they can swoop in, and James may have already made the first move.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reports the three-time NBA champion visited Leonard during Toronto’s series against the 76ers to begin his recruitment pitch.
“When you look at the Los Angeles Lakers right now you got a lot to be concerned about,” he said on The Sedano Show
“I heard a few days ago when the Raptors were in Philadelphia that LeBron James was there and LeBron James was seen talking to Kawhi.
“He is recruiting. He is ready to go.
“He’s trying to get some help this summer to come to Los Angeles.
“You’re hearing people chirp about it’s not a foregone conclusion that Kawhi Leonard is going to elect to go the Clippers, that indeed he might want to become a Los Angeles Laker and play alongside LeBron.
“My belief is that if LeBron James was out there recruiting and being passionate about returning the Lakers to prominence – particularly in the aftermath of Magic Johnson walking away – one would stand to believe that he believed the coach was already in place.
“That it was a foregone conclusion that Ty Lue was going to be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Now that that isn’t the case, where does LeBron go from here?
“He doesn’t have a no-trade clause, that much is true, but in the end when you want out as the star, we’ve seen that guys can get themselves out whose not named Anthony Davis.
“Now you’ve got to ask yourself what the fall-out is going to be.
“LeBron James is in a situation in L.A.where you have an owner that doesn’t have the deep pockets of Steve Ballmer has in town with the LA Clippers, with Jerry West in his right ear, with Doc Rivers as his head coach…
“You look at Los Angeles and a legitimate argument could be made that the LA Clippers are the class of Los Angeles right now and the Lakers have gone about the business of really making themselves look bad.”
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