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Clippers, Lakers, and Raptors to Have Meetings with Kawhi in LA, per Woj/Haynes

Things are starting to heat up. Kind of.

NBA: Toronto Raptors-Championship Parade John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Well, so much for tampering. Reports are flying thick and heavy right now on NBA free agency, with the top story being Kawhi Leonard, the superstar who the Clippers have pursued for almost a year.

Just minutes ago, Chris Haynes of Yahoo reported that Kawhi would give the Clippers and Lakers meetings in Los Angeles after June 30, when free agency will officially begin. While the Clippers have been expected to get a meeting for some time, the Lakers have pushed their way into the picture through the Anthony Davis trade and subsequent clearing of cap space for a max contract today. The Lakers now really lurk as a 3rd choice for Kawhi, though most reporting still seems to have the Raptors and Clippers has favorites to land him. Haynes also reports that the Knicks are trying to get a meeting, but they seem to be bit players at this point.

Speaking of the Raptors, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN chimed in, saying that the Raptors would get the final meeting with Kawhi in LA, which is usually the position of power. They will be able to pull all the stops in convincing him to stay in Toronto, with a presumably heavy emphasis on their winning a title two weeks ago, and the star power and upside of Pascal Siakam.

Still, Kawhi taking meetings in LA with both the Clippers and Lakers, and maybe other teams too, is a sign that he’s really considering leaving Toronto even after winning a title there. That’s good news for the Clippers, even if the Lakers truly entering the conversation is a grim one. Additionally, Woj said in his report that the other max guy the Lakers are looking at is D’Angelo Russell, which means Al Horford and Jimmy Butler are both still options for the Clippers to help lure in Kawhi. Stay tuned.