Over the past few days, momentum has built for the Los Angeles Lakers to come from behind and sign Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is, of course, the top free agent on the market, coming straight off winning the Finals MVP for delivering a championship to the Toronto Raptors in his first year there.
The Lakers are expected to get the first meeting with Leonard once the free agency period officially begins. There have been rumors that despite LeBron James and Anthony Davis working to recruit the star forward, Leonard and his camp have asked to meet with only Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson.
Johnson, who resigned as the Lakers president in April, cannot be involved in official team meetings with free agents by request of the NBA. However, because he is no longer on the team payroll, Johnson is free to speak with players on his own accord. According to the LA Times’ Brad Turner, Johnson has spoken to Kawhi and his close adviser and uncle ahead of the free agency period over the phone but they have not scheduled a meeting.
Leonard has been mostly linked to the Raptors and Clippers over the past year. However, in recent days, the Lakers have reportedly felt confident in their chances of bringing the former defensive player of the year to their star-studded roster and building arguably the most talented frontcourt of all time.