Lakers Rumors: Kawhi Leonard's Uncle's Free-Agent Demands, Anthony Davis' Future

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers guards Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers on October 22, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

No NBA team had a busier summer than the Los Angeles Lakers, who traded for Anthony Davis and attempted to sign two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

Every major transaction in the leagueand both of those easily qualify as suchis interesting because of several reasons, yes. But two fascinating parts are how a decision is reached and what impact the trade or signing has on the future.

Thanks to a couple of recent reports, the NBA world has some additional answers with regard to both superstar players.

And it'd be a disservice not to start with Leonard.

Sam Amick of The Athletic provided a compelling report that detailed the alleged demands of Leonard's uncle, Dennis Robertson, who serves as an adviser for the All-Star forward.

Robertson's wish list, as Amick labeled it, included several requests that would be deemed illegal, according to the league's collective bargaining agreement.

"Sources say the league was told that Robertson asked team officials for part ownership of the team, a private plane that would be available at all times, a house and—last but certainly not least—a guaranteed amount of off-court endorsement money that they could expect if Leonard played for their team."

Bold strategy, right?

Darren Abate/Associated Press

Amick noted Lakers owner Jeanie Buss pointed out the illegal nature of the wish list and said the perks wouldn't be considered. The report also adds Robertson made similar requests to the Toronto Raptors, where Kawhi played last season.

For the record, an NBA investigation found no evidence the Clippers granted any of them. But the demands, per Amick, have created a feeling of resentment "at the highest levels of Laker Land over how Leonard and his camp handled the process."

Next summer won't be anywhere near as dramatic with Davis, it appears.

According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, the "leaguewide expectation" remains that AD will re-sign and stay alongside LeBron James.

Davis is eligible to sign an extension in January, but the max offer will be $146 million over four seasons. If he waits until the summer and becomes an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers can extend a five-year contract worth $202 million.

While it's possible Davis prefers a two-year deal to reach the coveted 10-year veteran's max, a five-year contract is the most likely scenario for him this offseason.

The Lakers, of course, will have no hesitation in presenting that offer. After shipping several young players and three first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles has watched Davis average 27.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.

Re-signing Davis, who turns 27 in March, should allow the Lakers to continue a budding rivalry with Kawhi and the Clippers.

Given the most recent reporting, the bitter feelings extend beyond the court and likely won't disappear anytime soon.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.