The Los Angeles Lakers are not the only people in the league waiting on Kawhi Leonard’s free agency decision. Among the people most affected by Leonard’s choice is his Toronto Raptors teammate Danny Green.
Green, who has been a teammate of Leonard’s since the latter was drafted, seems to have interest from the LA Clippers, Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and Lakers. They are really the only teams that could potentially give him a high-paying contract, depending on where Leonard ultimately ends up. The latter three seem to be the ones in the lead for signing the free agent.
The 3-and-D shooting guard has been very candid throughout this process and has spoken about the process he is going through and how Leonard’s choice will impact his own free agency. On Thursday, he spoke about why he is considering each option and had a very clear cut answer regarding the Lakers on his own podcast, “Inside the Green Room.”
“LA, of course, they got two f—ing superstars there. It speaks for itself. And they’ve got other good pieces. Kuzma. They signed Jared Dudley, Troy Daniels, some shooters. And when you’ve got those two guys, you know the sky is the limit.”
Green has spoken to every organization in contention and mentioned that his top priorities are his fit, their ability to contend for a title and a fair contract.
The 32-year-old also shared some insight into how much he is speaking to Leonard.
“I try to leave him alone cause I already know how hectic the process is. If I do communicate with him, it’s through [Leonard’s close friend] Jeremy [Castleberry]. It’s through his camp. Jeremy’s giving me updates. I don’t want to blow his phone up.”
The strange aspect to all of this is that unless Leonard returns to Toronto, it’s highly unlikely that the two will remain teammates. The Lakers and Clippers only have enough cap space to sign Kawhi to his max and would then have the $4.8 million room exception to offer to free agents.
Green would be paid much more than that on the open market and both LA teams and the Mavericks would be willing to give him at least an eight-figure salary if they do not sign Kawhi. The Raptors would be able to go over the cap to re-sign both players although it’s unclear if ownership will pay for that large of a payroll.