Kawhi Leonard has reportedly backed off on the idea of joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN’s Michael C. Wright indicated on the Back to Back podcast that Leonard is now focusing on trying to land with the Los Angeles Clippers in the aftermath of LeBron James’ commitment to the Lakers.
“The Lakers are not Kawhi’s preferred destination anymore,” Wright said. “He wants to go to the Clippers. Because he doesn’t want to go and be second fiddle to LeBron. That’s what I was told. I was told by somebody that would know. So right now the Clippers are where he wants to go.”
“Around Kawhi, what’s been made abundantly clear is there’s not an interest to go join a super team. I don’t think he’s jumping for joy that LeBron James is in L.A. with the Lakers. If anything, that’s going to make him look maybe more toward the Clippers. Because this is a guy that won Finals MVP against LeBron James. You think he’s amped up and wants to join LeBron now? I think that’s been overstated, and the Spurs are beginning to realize that and beginning to realize that we might have a broadened market for him.”
That being said, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Woj Pod that James’ commitment to the Lakers made the Clippers less appealing to Leonard as well:
“But now that LeBron is in L.A., I think the idea of going head-to-head with LeBron, to have (Kawhi) with the Clippers, him with the Lakers, and to maybe feel dwarfed by that, I’m told that’s become far less appealing to him.”
It is important to note that at this point, Leonard doesn’t control his fate. Personally, I believe it is more likely that the Spurs deal him to the Lakers because they possess far more valuable assets than the Clippers.