June 30, 2019, 7:36 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
According to Stephen A. Smith, "noise is elevating" that Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler will end up with the Clippers.
Consider your source here, but it's a pairing that's gained momentum in recent days, even with the Lakers making Kawhi their top target and Butler reportedly proclaiming his interest in Miami. Leonard still has to meet with the Raptors while Butler is a top target of Houston, so there's nothing to get too worked up about just yet. The Lakers and Clippers seem to be dueling through the media while the Raptors remain air-tight as usual. These two are the last top-tier free agents available, and the market may settle down until they make their decisions.
Source: Stephen A. Smith on Twitter
June 30, 2019, 7:23 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
According to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, Kawhi Leonard and Magic Johnson had a "positive conversation" about the direction of the Lakers and the team has established contact with free agency open.
Ganguli adds that the Leonard camp is considering asking Rob Pelinka to be present for the formal meeting, which is a reversal from asking that only Jeanie Buss be present to represent the front office group. Leonard is the last big domino to fall, and it looks like it'll come down to his hometown teams or the world champs.
Source: L.A. Times
June 30, 2019, 6:50 pmDanny GreenSG, Toronto Raptors
Danny Green is a "prime target" for the Mavs, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Green will be waiting for Kawhi Leonard's decision, as he's indicated that his top option would be to run it back with the Raptors should Kawhi stay north. Green will have no shortage of suitors given his skill set, but as of now it looks like the Mavs are in the driver's seat should he leave Toronto. It'd be a really great fit if that's what ends up happening.
Source: Tim MacMahon on Twitter
June 30, 2019, 5:15 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
Per Chris Broussard of Fox Sports 1, the Lakers are Kawhi Leonard’s top choice in free agency, though nothing is set in stone.
With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant expected to sign with the Nets, Jimmy Butler supposedly wanting to play for the Heat, and Kemba Walker anticipating a Celtics deal, Leonard is the last remaining superstar out there. Leonard is also the top dog on the market, and if he were to team up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, we could witness the best big-three ensemble ever.
Source: Chris Broussard on Twitter
June 30, 2019, 3:38 pmDanny GreenSG, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors, Lakers, Rockets, Sixers, Knicks, Mavs and Bulls are expected to reach out to Danny Green in free agency, per Harrison D. Sanford.
Sanford co-hosts the Inside the Green Room podcast with Danny Green himself, so he's got a pretty good connection here. The Raptors' interest will likely be determined by Kawhi Leonard's decision, and although Green figures to wind up on a contending team it's worth noting that teams like the Knicks could offer him a more featured role. Green's 3-and-D skill set should earn him a nice deal this summer.
Source: Harrison D. Sanford on Twitter
June 29, 2019, 9:23 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
According to Marc Stein, Kawhi Leonard wants to be joined by a top-flight free agent should he decide to leave the Raptors and join with the Clippers.
The Clippers are exploring the feasibility of bringing Leonard and Sixers' Jimmy Butler together. Both are excellent two-way players and would make for an interesting pairing, to say the least. This not the first we've heard of this rumor, so credence it's building for sure. That said, exploring the feasibility of something and actually making it happen has a great divide in between though. The Clippers would be one of the big winners in free agency, should they be able to pull this off.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
June 29, 2019, 3:59 pmTaj GibsonPF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Darren Wolfson is reporting that the Clippers, Nets, Bucks, Raptors, Warriors, Lakers, Bulls, Hornets and Blazers all have "some level of interest" in Taj Gibson.
Not all of those teams figure to be in serious pursuit of Gibson, but there will clearly be a competitive market for his services. All of those teams have need for a hard-nosed rebounder and solid veteran, though at this point you'd imagine that teams close to title contention will capture Gibson's attention more easily than rebuilding ones. His days as a standard-league fantasy asset are likely over but Gibson still has some real-life utility and won't break the bank to sign.
Source: Darren Wolfson on Twitter
June 28, 2019, 5:50 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
Updating a previous report, Magic Johnson has said that he will not be at the Lakers' meeting with Kawhi Leonard but that he is happy to help out however he can.
League rules prohibit Johnson from participating in official meetings with prospective free agents. Stephen A. Smith is reporting that Kawhi asked for Magic and Jeanie Buss to be the only ones involved in his pitch, which fits with his under-the-radar style. With Johnson out — at least officially — we may see other members of the organization involved.
Source: Ramona Shelburne on Twitter
June 28, 2019, 5:07 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
Brad Turner of the L.A. Times is reporting that Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson will be among the Lakers reps that meet with Kawhi Leonard next week.
Sam Amick of The Athletic adds that LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who is still not technically a Laker, will show up as well. One wonders how the NBA will take to Johnson's participation considering his abrupt departure from the Lakers this season, and this screams of technically-legal tampering. There has been growing momentum for Kawhi-to-the-Lakers lately, and it appears as though it is now a three-team race between Toronto and the SoCal squads.
Source: Brad Turner on Twitter
June 27, 2019, 3:01 pmKawhi LeonardTeam, Toronto Raptors
Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Kawhi Leonard is intending to meet with both the Lakers and the Clippers when free agency begins this Sunday, but the Raptors will get the final meeting with the superstar.
Leonard is coming off a championship in his lone season with the Raptors and will have his choice of where he wants to play next season. Before the Raptors traded for Leonard it was reported that he wanted to go to Los Angeles, so it's no surprise he'll meet with both franchises. Both the Clippers and Lakers are enticing situations to join, and we'll see where he ultimately lands, as the Raptors and Knicks are sure to do all they can to sway the superstar forward as well.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
June 26, 2019, 5:02 pmMarc GasolC, Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol has exercised his $25.6 million player option for next season and will remain with the Raptors.
Gasol seemed unlikely to test the open market at his age, and given the success of the core of Toronto's roster it's a good fit for him to stay with a competitive team as well. It's been speculated that Toronto's other players will decide to stay or go based on Kawhi Leonard's decision, so if you really want to read into this then you can take that angle — though between his age and the number of available centers, this seemed like a safe bet either way. Gasol made a lot of sacrifices upon joining the Raptors and finished the year with a top-100 stretch, but we'll need to wait on Kawhi before declaring Gasol a late-middle round option or an early-round guy once again.
Source: Ryan Wolstat on Twitter
June 26, 2019, 4:32 pmDanny GreenSG, Toronto Raptors
Sam Amick of The Athletic is reporting that the Rockets are considering Danny Green, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jeremy Lamb, Brook Lopez, DeAndre Jordan and Kevon Looney as possible targets in free agency.
Houston is focused on completing a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler but those players, either as cheap depth around the new Big Three or as fallback options, are all good fits. There's a ton of balls in the air at this point but it's clear that the Rockets are prepared to shake things up and are planning to cover their bases at every position.
Source: The Athletic
June 26, 2019, 1:18 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
According to Ian Begley of SNY, there are multiple teams expressing interest in pairing Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler this summer.
Leonard does not care about teaming up with other stars, but people around the league believe that he and Butler would get along and enjoy playing with one another. It makes some sense given their obsessive approaches to the game. The team with the best shot at it appears to be the Clippers — the other frontrunner for Kawhi, Toronto, does not have the space to absorb Butler, while the teams most interested in Butler do not have the space or pitches to attract Leonard. It's highly unlikely that the duo ends up together, but stranger things have happened.
June 26, 2019, 10:02 amKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
Marc Stein of the New York Times is reporting that Kawhi Leonard is strongly considering signing a two-year, $70 million deal to remain with the world champion Raptors.
Leonard is being courted by nearly every team in a major market after his championship run with the Raptors, and he is expected to meet with the Clippers next week. It has been suggested that signing a two-year deal with a player option in the third year would hold appeal for Leonard, since he would then be eligible for a higher maximum contract in the summer of 2021, after completing his 10th season. Kawhi averaged 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in 60 regular-season games with the Raptors and he should maintain the same value regardless of where he lands.
Source: Marc Stein
June 25, 2019, 7:34 amKawhi LeonardSF, Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard could meet with the Clippers on July 2nd, according to Frank Isola of the Athletic.
Kawhi will be free agent on July 1st and he is expected to listen to offers from the Raptors and the Clippers. No one really knows what’s in his mind right now but both teams are expected to make a strong case in their efforts to sign him.
Source: Frank Isola on Twitter