The entire basketball world is waiting to see what team Kawhi Leonard decides to play for this summer. And so far, waiting is pretty much all anyone can do thanks to the secrecy surrounding Leonard’s process. We know he’s met with the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, but that’s about all we’ve got so far.
That’s because, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, teams have been warned that if they leak any information about their meeting with Leonard it could hurt their chances to sign the reigning Finals MVP. From Wojnarowski’s recent appearance on ESPN, as transcribed by Pro Basketball Talk:
Teams have simply been told this, “If information on your presentation gets out, you’re really imperiling your chance to sign Kawhi Leonard.” And so you understand why teams are keeping this so private. And his camp has not allowed that information to really get out.
I was told to not to expect a decision until at least later today, possibly tomorrow on July 4th.
This is a pretty reasonable request by Leonard, and the fact that teams are honoring it shows just how much he would mean to each franchise.
Almost everything gets leaked these days, so much so that reports were coming out about players agreeing to contracts with new teams hours way before free agency was officially set to begin. Teams weren’t even technically supposed to be negotiating with players, and yet we knew where Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were going to play next season hours, and even days, before things got started on June 30.
Yet with Leonard, it’s already July 3 and we still know almost nothing about his situation. Understandably, none of the Raptors, Lakers or Clippers are willing to jeopardize their chance at one of the best players in the league joining their team. Signing him or not would be the difference between championship contention and middling playoff team for all three squads. Keeping things in house for a few days is a small price to pay for that potential reward.