However, it is not clear the extent to which Johnson will be involved with any free-agent negotiations, or if he will be part of the Lakers’ actual pitch meeting. Under NBA rules, Johnson would not be permitted to be a part of official team meetings with prospective free agents, as noted by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Johnson, though, has stated he intends to help the Lakers in free agency in any way he can, according to Shelburne.
Leonard declined a $21.3-million player option to stay with the Toronto Raptors for one more season last Sunday, becoming an unrestricted free agent.
The news comes in spite of reports from earlier this year that stated the forward wasn’t keen on joining the Lakers and playing with LeBron James. However, James and recently acquired All-Star Anthony Davis will reportedly also be in the meeting.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Leonard made a personal request to the Lakers that their free-agent meeting only include Buss and Johnson.
The 27-year-old will reportedly meet with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers once free-agency negotiations officially kick off on June 30.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard’s final meeting before making a decision will be with the Raptors.
Toronto president Masai Ujiri has recently stated that he is “confident” the superstar will stay.