The last time Kawhi Leonard and the Philadelphia 76ers were mentioned in the same breath was back in May when the eventual Finals MVP hit the first Game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA history to help his Toronto Raptors send the Sixers packing.
However, on Thursday night during the 2019 NBA Draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Sixers are now on the list of teams with whom Leonard could meet during free agency before deciding on where to sign.
“Kawhi Leonard, when he went to Toronto after the trade with San Antonio really looked at it as a one-year waystation,” Wojnarowski explained on air. “Toronto closed the gap through the whole year, obviously won the championship, but the Clippers and Raptors are certainly at the front of the line for him. I’m told that Leonard may very well take visits in free agency, meetings at least, with the Knicks, the 76ers, possibly even the Nets in addition to the Clippers.”
The Knicks and Nets have reportedly been on the list of teams interested in pursuing Leonard, but the Sixers are a new one.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand should be a busy man this summer with many core pieces of his 2018-19 roster set to become free agents, including Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Reddick.
If Leonard were to join the likes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons it could put a team like the Sixers over the top.
Leonard, who averaged 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 24 playoff games en route to winning his second championship, has a history with Sixers head coach Brett Brown, who was an assistant with the Spurs early in Leonard’s pro career.
The NBA’s free-agent moratorium period begins June 30 at 6 p.m. ET.