Kawhi Leonard will forever be a legend in Canada. He led the Raptors to their first title when they took down the Warriors in six games, and nobody can ever take that away from him.
But he could soon leave The North for the West Coast.
Leonard, who was born in Los Angeles and played collegiately at San Diego State, might have his eyes set on returning home to L.A. when he becomes a free agent in less than two weeks. His preference, however, sounds like "the other L.A." team, not the one that just traded for Anthony Davis.
"The reality is, Kawhi Leonard's focused on Los Angeles but it's the Clippers, not the Lakers," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Tuesday morning on "Get Up."
Wojnarowski points out that the Lakers will not have the money to sign the superstar in free agency. After the Lakers acquired Davis from the Pelicans, there was speculation they would still have between $32 and $27 million left in salary cap space to sign a marquee player. But due to the timing of the trade and Davis' 15 percent trade kicker, the Lakers' cap space will likely be around $23 million.
There's another point he makes regarding Leonard's preference of the Clippers over the Lakers, and it all starts with LeBron James.
"The idea of him being a third wheel on a team that's trying to create a super-team, that has not been Kawhi's M.O. The Clippers are poised to be able to lure him from Toronto. This will be a Raptors-Clippers fight down to the end. ... It's not even certain he'd take a meeting with the Lakers right now," Wojnarowski said.
This comes on the heels of The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reporting Sunday that league sources have told him the Lakers will pursue Leonard.
It makes sense that Leonard will chose the Clippers over the Lakers if he were to leave Toronto, despite the addition of Davis with LeBron. Kawhi just led a team to a championship that was built more on depth than stars, which is exactly how the Clippers are currently constructed.
The Clippers pushed the Warriors to six games in the first round of the playoffs this year. Adding Leonard to the squad while the Warriors will be without injured stars in Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson could bring another banner to the Staples Center, just not for the Lakers.