Kawhi Leonard plans to meet with Los Angeles Clippers representatives July 2, according to The Athletic’s Frank Isola.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Leonard was opting out of his deal with the Toronto Raptors to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The NBA’s free-agent moratorium begins at 6 p.m. ET on June 30, at which time teams can begin contract negotiations.
After Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals, Leonard became arguably the best player available on the free-agent market. Suitors such as the Clippers and Raptors will have to throw everything they have at the three-time All-Star to convince him to sign.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up! on June 18, ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Leonard is “focused on Los Angeles” and that a move to the Clippers rather than the Los Angeles Lakers is more likely because he could be the unquestioned top star with the Clippers.
However, Haynes wrote Leonard “is believed to be seriously considering re-signing with the Raptors.”
Both the Clippers and Raptors have plenty to offer.
Toronto is coming off its first NBA championship and proved to Leonard it’s willing to accommodate his needs. The team carefully managed his workload to ensure he remained healthy and effective over the course of the season.
And there’s no question he’s already a beloved figure among fans after only one season north of the border.
The Clippers present Leonard with a new challenge and the opportunity to play in one of the world’s biggest media markets. He’s also a native of Riverside, California, so a move to L.A. would put him much closer to his hometown.
Also, imagine what Leonard’s legacy would look like if he followed up his championship with the Raptors by helping lead the Clippers to a title.
No story will be bigger in the NBA offseason than where Leonard ultimately lands.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report