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Rumor: Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard not interested in playing with Lakers’ LeBron James

Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James

Kawhi Leonard is reportedly not interested in playing with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers next season, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.

Leonard will become an unrestricted free agent this summer once he declines his 2019-20 player option with the Toronto Raptors.

“I do not,” Wright said when asked if he believes Leonard would have interest in playing with James on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Podcast. “That’s just what I’ve been told. It’s what I’ve been told going back to last summer. I don’t see that as something that’s happening.

“I think he goes to the Clippers.”

The Clippers are widely believed to be the team Kawhi Leonard will sign with if he decides to leave the Raptors after just one season. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year grew up in California.

The Lakers and Clippers will have cap space this summer to sign max contract players. However, there have been rumors going back to last offseason that Leonard doesn’t want to live in the shadow of James on the Lakers and deal with all the drama and hoopla which comes with playing on a LeBron-led team.

In 47 games this season for the Raptors, Leonard is averaging 27.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists.