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#pounditSunday, April 18, 2021

Report: Kawhi Leonard ‘seriously considering’ signing with Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers made some moves this week that will allow them to free up enough salary cap space to sign a third max contract player, and there is apparently a legitimate chance that player could be Kawhi Leonard.

Appearing on “Get Up” Friday morning, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said sources have told him Leonard is seriously entertaining the thought of signing with the Lakers.

“As of last night and this morning, I have received word that he is seriously considering signing with the Lakers,” Smith said. “The Clippers are very, very nervous right now. … The Lakers are in play for Kawhi Leonard.”

A separate report from earlier in the week claimed the Lakers are confident they will be a factor in the Leonard sweepstakes, so it would appear his decision to grant them a meeting about more than just optics.

Leonard is coming off a season in which he put the Toronto Raptors on his back and led them to their first championship in franchise history, and it doesn’t seem like his style to join a team where he would be the clear No. 2 behind LeBron James. His brand is already that of a player who has managed to win titles while avoiding the “super-team” trend, so we still have our doubts about him teaming up with LeBron and Anthony Davis.

The thought all along has been that Leonard will either return to Toronto or sign with the Clippers, but the Clippers may already have a backup plan in place. Not signing him would be one thing, but watching him choose the Lakers would be devastating for the Clippers.

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