The demand for Kawhi Leonard when his free agency period approaches is shaping up to be a big one. Just because the Toronto Raptors were able to win him over in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs, doesn’t mean that they can convince him to stay when he is set to take on the market after 2019.
There’s going to plenty of teams that will make their case to Leonard. One favorite team being the Los Angeles Clippers. But that’s not the only team out on the West Coast that’s going to have interest. Apparently, the Lakers are still interested in forming a powerhouse out in the West to compete with the Golden State Warriors. Clearly, LeBron James is not enough.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, though, Leonard wants no parts of living in LeBron’s shadow. According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Leonard wants to have his own team. You can’t compare Kawhi to Kevin Durant, that’s for sure. The Raptors standout wants a franchise all to his own. Although he isn’t playing with a bunch of scrubs in Toronto, they might have too many notable names for his liking. Leonard wants to run the show, and with the Lakers, he knows he wouldn’t be doing that.
Nobody Wants to Be LeBron’s Sidekick?
You would think that the demand for wanting to play with LeBron James would be high, but it just isn’t. There were a few stars who were expected to join the Lakers over the past offseason, and none of them did. Guys like Paul George and Jimmy Butler were linked to L.A. but made it clear that they weren’t into joining forces with “The King.”
This isn’t a surprise. Kevin Love, an old teammate of LeBron’s, explained to ESPN a couple of months ago that playing with LeBron has its perks, and it’s downsides if you are an established star. Players who join LeBron, automatically become second to him. So, if any player has already established a leadership elsewhere, none of that input will trump LeBron’s captain status no matter where he’s at.
Source: Heavy Sports