Kawhi Leonard Reportedly Doesn't Want to Join Lakers, Play with LeBron James

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 95-86. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

If the Los Angeles Lakers pair a second superstar with LeBron James this summer, it likely won't be Kawhi Leonard.

Appearing on Brian Windhorst's podcast, ESPN's Michael C. Wright said he doesn't believe Leonard is interested in signing with the Lakers.

"I do not," Wright said. "That's just what I've been told. It's what I've been told going back to last summer. I don't see that as something that's happening. I think he goes to the Clippers."

This is not a new development, as Leonard has reportedly had little interest in joining the Lakers since speculation about a union between the two sides began last offseason.

In July, Shams Charania told Colin Cowherd on The Herd that "it's been made abundantly clear there's not an interest [from Leonard] to go join a superteam. I don't think he's jumping for joy that LeBron James is in L.A. with the Lakers."

As the 30-35 Lakers fade from playoff contention, the Los Angeles Clippers might seem more appealing. They're 37-29 without a go-to star after trading Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers in February. Plus, they only have $49.3 million in salary commitments next season, per Basketball Reference.

Before Leonard can become a free agent this summer by declining a $21.3 million player option, he will try to help the 46-19 Toronto Raptors win an NBA title.

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Leonard averages 27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals for the No. 2 seed in the East.