While Lakers fans are refreshing their Twitter timelines every five seconds for Kawhi Leonard to decide which team he’ll join in free agency, he’s setting at home playing Red Dead Redemption 2, probably.
The overwhelming feeling across the NBA was that Leonard would announce his league-altering decision on Friday, but according to Cris Carter, who has ties to Leonard’s camp, that announcement isn’t coming today.
However, unlike Thursday’s “There will be no update” update, Carter broke some news that might mean something to the Lakers and their fans:
#KawhiUpdate:— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) July 5, 2019
After looking like we would find out today, we will not. Kawhi is still undecided & is not going to finalize his decision today.
Also, contrary to other reports, Kawhi is NOT interested in signing a 1 or 2 year deal. When he signs, it will be a long term contract.
The Lakers can offer Leonard a four-year contract starting at $32 million a year, which is a few thousand dollars short of his full max. Meanwhile, the LA Clippers and Toronto Raptors can offer Leonard his full max.
Outside of money, though, the Clippers and Raptors can’t compete with what the Lakers can offer Leonard over the next four years: an opportunity to compete for a championship alongside two All-NBA caliber players in Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Sure, James will turn 35 in December, but he still has at least two more years of elite basketball left in him. For context, in the 16 games James played after the All-Star break, he averaged 28.8 points, 9.8 assists and 8 rebounds per game and that was coming off of the worst injury he’s suffered in his 16-year career. He’s really good and he’s shown little-to-no signs if slowing down.
That’s not to mention Davis, who at 26 years old is just entering the athletic prime of his career and is expected to sign a five-year, max contract with the Lakers next summer. As good as Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry are, they’re not Davis and James.
If Leonard wants to add a few more rings and Finals MVPs to his resume, the Lakers are his best option in the long and short-term. Hopefully he realizes that soon and puts us all out of our misery.