Will the Los Angeles Lakers actually land Kawhi Leonard? Now that players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and D'Angelo Russell have found their new teams, this is the big remaining question of NBA free agency.
For Los Angeles, it's obviously a big one. The addition of Leonard would make the Lakers the league's newest superteam—though one could argue that the current pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis is already pretty super.
Leonard is clearly Los Angeles' top target, and if the Lakers end up missing out, fans are likely to feel a little disappointed.
"If they don't get Kawhi, they are going from a five-star steak dinner to a couple street-cart hot dogs," Fox Sports 1's Nick Wright recently said on First Things First.
Waiting on Leonard has potentially hurt the Lakers. They had interest in shooter Seth Curry, but he signed a four-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. They had interest in Patrick Beverley, but he re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Landing Leonard is still a possibility—Kendrick Perkins, for one, believes the Lakers still hold the "upper hand"—and, in fact, could be a probability. According to Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Magic Johnson had a "positive conversation" about the future of Los Angeles at the start of free agency.
At the very least, the Lakers remain confident in landing Leonard.
"They're not nervous right now," the Los Angeles Times' Arash Markazi told The Herd's Colin Cowherd.
However, it would behoove the Lakers to start working on other additions before the cream of the free-agency crop is gone.
According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, one of those other additions is likely to be Andre Iguodala, who was recently traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Memphis Grizzlies.
"He has basically—according to sources—informed everybody he's going to work out a buyout and then go to the Lakers," Smith said on his radio show (h/t NBC Sports' Drew Shiller)."So Andre Iguodala is planning on joining the Lakers from what we're being told. I don't know how true that is, whether or not it is going to definitively happen. But that is the plan at this particular moment in time."
Since adding Iguodala requires the Grizzlies to buy out Iguodala's contract, the Lakers are forced to play the waiting game with him too.
Iguodala and Leonard aren't the only potential additions the Lakers could be waiting on either, as Markazi said on The Herd:
"These are all guys that you've heard of and guys who may be with a team right now. Kyle Korver could be a name. Pau Gasol, by the way, could finish his career back there. ...There's this perception that if it's veteran minimum guys, it'll be guys off the street, guys who played in the G-League. No, these are guys who are looking at the end of their career. They're 35, 36, 37 who want one more chance."
In many ways, this potential approach makes sense for the Lakers. Their window with James is limited, so adding older, capable veterans could be exactly what the Lakers need to maximize it.