Toronto Raptors Free Agency 2019: Kawhi Leonard “leaks” are sloppy, inconsistent and likely not true

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Kawhi Leonard hasn’t made a decision on if he will play for the Toronto Raptors or in Los Angeles next season. That hasn’t stopped many from sharing their view disguised as knowledge.

The Toronto Raptors have looked on with bated breath as free agency changes the entire landscape of the NBA. It’s been a few of the craziest days in NBA history, as nearly half the league has swapped teams. Now, only one top-end player is left. Kawhi Leonard’s presence alone can help change the fate of a franchise, as was seen this past postseason.

As Raptors’ executives wait to see if their pitch was enough to convince the superstar to return to Toronto, they may want to tune out social media. Through it, especially Twitter, there has been an abundance of rumours and speculation on where Leonard will choose to play next season. Those rumors, typically falsified as real reports, have turned out to be unreliable.

In the days leading up to free agency, it appeared as though Leonard’s decision was down to three teams, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Toronto Raptors.

Depending on the source one trusts, some might tend to believe that a decision has already been made. This has caused fans to add to the misinformation by providing their opinions and feeding false narratives. In fact, while this article was being written, the number one trending topic in Canada was #KawhiToLA.

Stephen A. Smith is notorious for sharing information that may or may not be accurate. In just minutes before the moratorium period ended, he began tweeting about Leonard.

Then with free agency in full swing, he followed up by quoting the “noise” around Leonard and it pointing him in the directions of the Clippers.

Smith is a notorious Knicks fan so perhaps he misinterpreted the information he was given due to wallowing in his own sadness. Stephen A. Smith technically didn’t report anything incorrectly here. But he did prove that none of his leaks hold much barring/importance.

Kendrick Perkins has also been sharing his intel quite liberally. He too is confident that the Lakers are the frontrunners.

Perkins is a former player who lasted parts of 14 seasons in the NBA. He now shares analysis on the league with multiple outlets. He stated “the Lakers hold the upper hand” three days after saying the complete opposite:

Chris Broussard, a radio show host and analyst, has also weighed in by sharing what he knows. On Canada Day he wrote, “Kawhi to Lakers rumblings getting stronger and stronger.”

One day later he doubled down. This time he explained that his source has said that the Lakers won out, yet in that same tweet he also hedged his bet by sharing that Leonard himself hasn’t made his decision.

Knowing which source is credible has almost become impossible. Until a team, the league or Leonard himself announces that the deal is done, fans should be sceptical. Twitter follower numbers are growing thanks to “information” being shared on Leonard’s decision. Fans are sharing tweets/posts that reaffirm what they want to hear.

For those adding to the rumours, consider that they have something to gain by positioning themselves to appear knowledgable of the situation. A larger total of followers can be used as leverage in negotiating with a network and used to sell that individual’s relevance in the sport.

Some may be honest and sharing tips from reliable sources, but without knowing who is behind the intelligence, it’s incredibly difficult to fully trust what’s said. Some like Adrian Wojnarowski, Marc Stein, and Shams Charania have built a reputation on getting things right, making themselves more credible.

Next. Are the Clippers still a threat for Kawhi Leonard?. dark

Those who trust Woj believe that Leonard spent time Tuesday meeting with the Clippers, Lakers, and Raptors and that no decision would be made until Wednesday at the earliest. He also stated that the decision could be announced on July 4. If that’s accurate, it casts even greater doubt on all the rumours and supposed leaks. The good news is, if right, we may not need to wait much longer.