The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly shifting their focus to Kawhi Leonard after acquiring Anthony Davis in a blockbuster deal with the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reports.
The Lakers’ pursuit of Leonard couldn’t come at a better time. After playing just nine games during the 2017-18 campaign with the Spurs before getting dealt to the Toronto Raptors, Kawhi needed to re-establish himself as a max contract level player who was no longer saddled with the lingering quad issues that derailed his final season in San Antonio.
Leonard not only proved that his injuries were behind him, he successfully led the Raptors to their first championship in franchise history with one of the best performances in NBA playoff history. Toronto’s historic victory affords Kawhi the opportunity to leave the organization without suffering the wrath of Raps fans.
Leonard’s hometown of Los Angeles has long been considered his preferred destination with the Clippers holding a sizable edge over the Lakers. However, the recent AD trade may have helped propel the Lakers’ chances, especially when you consider the recent Instagram activity of Kawhi’s cousin and sister.
If Leonard does wind up on the Lakers, the narrative cannot be that he’s chasing rings. His Raptors run proved that he can do it on his own. And if Kawhi goes anywhere but The 6 next season, Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has a message for him.