Leonard has $21.3-million player option that he’s expected to decline, which will make him a coveted free agent this summer and, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers aren’t among the frontrunners to land the man who just led the Toronto Raptors to Canada’s first NBA title.
“The reality is Kawhi Leonard’s focused on Los Angeles, but it’s the Clippers, not the Lakers,” Wojnarowski said during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up Tuesday.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old won’t come cheap, so the Lakers likely wouldn’t be able to afford Leonard’s salary anyways, but Wojnarowski also said signing somewhere to be the third wheel on a super team has not been Leonard’s modus operandi.
“The Clippers are poised to be able to lure him from Toronto,” Wojnarowski said. “This will be a Raptors-Clippers fight. He may take meetings with more teams but it’s not even certain he’d even take a meeting with the Lakers right now.”
Leonard averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game in 60 regular-season appearances before ramping his game up in the post-season. The Riverside, Calif., native averaged 30.5 points, 9.1 boards and 3.9 assists in 24 playoff games en route to winning his second career Finals MVP.
One of the top remaining off-season priorities for the Lakers is to add some quality shooters and Wojnarowski added a player like Leonard’s Raptors teammate Danny Green could be a more realistic target of the Lakers.