RUMOR: Kawhi Leonard calling other stars about potentially teaming up in LA, Brooklyn
Is Kawhi Leonard up to something? After the embattled forward was traded to the Toronto Raptors by the San Antonio Spurs along with Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2019 first-round pick, a highly intriguing rumor was floated by Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star during a recent appearance on the Back to Back Podcast.
According to Arthur, he has heard of a story that Leonard is planning to form a new superteam in the NBA, contacting other stars to convince them to play together on the same team. Now, where exactly is Leonard intending to form a new band of stars is something that remains a mystery, but the Los Angeles Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets, and even the Raptors could be among the top candidates (h/t Silver Screen And Roll).
“One thing I was told last night is that Kawhi Leonard has already been planning out his free agency for next year and he’s already been in contact with other star players in the league, saying, ‘hey, where might you want to play with me? What are we looking at?’
And it wasn’t just L.A. he was talking about. Brooklyn was maybe somewhere that’ll have a ton of cap space. That’s a possibility.”
Kawhi Leonard is set to become an unrestricted free agent by the end of the 2018-19 season, and his questionable loyalty to whichever team the Spurs were planning to send him was a big reason why it took a long time for San Antonio to cut him loose via a trade. The Raptors are very much aware that Leonard could turn out to be nothing more than a one-year rental, but they also have a limited window to try to acquire other top-tier assets in order to convince the two-way forward to stay in Canada.
On the other hand, the Lakers and the Nets must be liking their increased chances of landing Leonard in the summer of 2019, as both teams will have ample leg room in their salary cap spaces next year to accommodate Leonard.