Lakers Rumors: Feeling Around NBA Is LeBron's 'Shadow Looms Too Large' for Kawhi

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 10, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during play against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on November 7, 2018 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

If the Los Angeles Lakers' plans include signing Kawhi Leonard as a free agent next summer, they might be forced to change course. 

Per The Athletic's Blake Murphy, there is a feeling from some people around the NBA that LeBron James' "shadow looms too large" to appeal to Leonard. 

Murphy also cited the Lakers' apparent impatience with their four-year plan as a reason their pitch to Leonard could fall apart. 

When Los Angeles opened training camp in September, James told reporters he would need to have patience with the young talent around him:

"I'm going to have to have some patience with the young guys. This is a new moment for those guys. They're so used to being the prey where they're kind of sneaking up on guys. Now we're like the Predator. People know every time we step on the floor they are excited about the opportunity to play us and want to beat us. It's a whole 'nother ball game."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Lakers head coach Luke Walton was admonished by team president Magic Johnson following a 124-120 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 29. 

Murphy also noted the Los Angeles Clippers have been connected to Leonard more than the Lakers if he decides to leave the Toronto Raptors

Leonard has an opt-out clause in his contract after the 2018-19 season. The 2014 NBA Finals MVP is off to a fantastic start, averaging a career-high 26 points and eight rebounds per game for a Raptors team that leads the NBA with an 11-1 record.   

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