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Report: Lakers ‘think they have a strong shot’ at signing Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly “think they have a strong shot” at signing Kawhi Leonard this summer, according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors are the heavy favorites to sign Leonard this offseason, but an anonymous Western Conference vice president says the Lakers are internally confident Leonard is coming to the Purple and Gold.

While the odds-on favorites are the Clippers—fulfilling Leonard’s supposed interest in playing where he grew up—one Eastern Conference vice president says the Raptors still have a “fighting chance” to re-sign him, while a Western Conference VP says the Lakers are operating as if “they think they have a strong shot” at adding Leonard after acquiring New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis to play alongside their incumbent star, LeBron James, in a deal that can’t be officially consummated until next month.

Would Leonard really want to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis after winning his second Finals MVP? It’s hard to see that happening, but then again, the Lakers were one of the teams Leonard requested to be traded to when he asked the San Antonio Spurs to move him last summer.

The Lakers have to figure out a way to create a third max slot for Leonard, though. The timing of the Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans leaves LA with around $23 million in cap space, which isn’t enough to sign a superstar player like Leonard.