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ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says Lakers have ‘some real traction’ toward signing Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard, Lakers

ESPN insider Brian Windhorst says the Los Angeles Lakers have “some real traction” toward signing Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

Leonard spoke with Magic Johnson over the weekend. Since Johnson doesn’t work for the Lakers anymore, the Hall of Famer isn’t allowed in any free agent meetings.

Windhorst still believes the Los Angeles Clippers are the favorites to sign Leonard, but says the Lakers are lurking.

“We don’t know where Kawhi is going,” Windhorst said on ESPN radio. “I am feeling more like the Lakers are a chance. I wouldn’t have thought that was a chance. I thought it was Clippers for a long time and then I thought maybe he’ll stay in Toronto.

“I do believe there is some real traction towards the Lakers. I still think the Clippers are the pick, but I admit I don’t know at this point.”

The Lakers freed up a third max slot for Leonard last week after completing a trade with the Washington Wizards. After Jimmy Butler joined the Miami Heat via a sign-and-trade and Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets, there isn’t another star for Leonard to join on the Clippers.

When Leonard requested his trade from the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2018, he wanted to be traded to Los Angeles. After winning the title with the Raptors, though, some believe Kawhi could re-sign with Toronto on a short-term deal.

Leonard has the whole NBA in the palm of his gigantic hands right now. It’s going to be fascinating to see what decision the two-time Finals MVP makes.