The Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers are all waiting with bated breath for Kawhi Leonard’s decision. Do we have any idea when that will be?
Kawhi Leonard holds the fate of the NBA in his hands, well at least the fate of a few franchises. The Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers are all waiting on Leonard’s decision, having made their pitches sometime over the past couple of days.
So what is Leonard waiting for? He’s heard all three franchises and has been thinking about this decision since he forced his way out of San Antonio. Is it really possible Leonard is still considering all three options?
Probably not. In all likelihood, Leonard probably has his decision 99-percent made. But this is one of — if not the — biggest decision of his life. He’s choosing between countries, employers, and millions of dollars. You can’t blame him for taking his time.
Kawhi is also not known to make quick decisions. During his college recruitment, Leonard took a remarkably long time to pick San Diego State, one of the first schools who recruited him.
Everyone glued to their feeds waiting for Kawhi news to break: SDSU’s coaching staff wasn’t even positive he was coming until he showed up to the first day of summer school classes. They couldn’t reach him for weeks.
Enjoy your holiday weekend. Kawhi definitely will.
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) July 4, 2019
So when can you expect a Leonard decision? We don’t exactly know, but we might have a few clues.
L.A. time squeeze?
Both the Lakers and Clippers are in more of a rush than Toronto. Both teams have available cap space and would like to use it if Leonard is indeed signing elsewhere. The Raptors, however, will be over the cap regardless. It perhaps changes their pursuit of Danny Green, but not much else.
Bobby Marks of ESPN believes that the Lakers are in more of a rush than anyone. As Marks explains, due to cap logistics, the Leonard deal needs to be completed before the Davis trade. If the Pelicans or Wizards get antsy, they may try to force the Lakers hand.
“We’re really in a time crunch with Kawhi’s decision.”
— Golic and Wingo (@GolicAndWingo) July 4, 2019
Now, would either team really force the issue enough to cause the deal to collapse? Seems doubtful. But they may be putting pressure on the Lakers to get a decision. Or perhaps as L.A. to throw them an additional second for their troubles.
If Leonard continues to drag this out, and either L.A. team feels they have absolutely no shot, they might pull out. However, at this point, all parties have probably committed enough to hear him out regardless of his timeframe.
What we know
All we know is the decision won’t be made today, probably. Cris Carter, of FS1, has been a reliable Leonard source for a while. He apparently has connections to Uncle Dennis and has been doing minor reporting on Leonard’s behalf. According to Carter, the decision won’t be until the 5th at least.
After very impressive meetings with the Toronto Raptors and others yesterday, reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and his team haven’t made a decision and there won’t any announcement TODAY. Enjoy the 4th of July #KawhiWatch
— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) July 4, 2019
It would be cruel to spurn Americans on their independence day, so perhaps Leonard is just doing them a solid. On a serious note, he’s most likely giving the pitches a few more days to sink in, trying to avoid a rash decision.
Unfortunately, we can’t give you much of a timeframe on Leonard’s decision. It could be tomorrow, it could be early next week. Perhaps Kawhi will wait until the season actually starts, so he doesn’t have to go through training camp. Until he decides, we’re all beholden to him.