Most Likely Free Agent Destinations for Kawhi Leonard After Leading Raptors to First NBA Title

By Leo Abbe-Schneider
2019 NBA Finals - Game Six
2019 NBA Finals - Game Six /

Cover Photo: Getty Images

With the NBA offseason already well underway, there are still quite a few pieces that need to get sorted out before we have a clear picture of who the main contenders will be next season. One of those pieces is Kawhi Leonard, who will head into free agency fresh off leading the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA title in franchise history.

With two titles and two Finals MVPs at just 27 years old, Leonard has asserted himself as one of the league's elite talents. Only further proven by the fact that he took the Raptors to the promised land, just 12 months after the team was swept in the second round of the 2018 playoffs. Leonard is one of the league's few players that can immediately transform a franchise.

With that in mind, here are the three most likely landing spots for Leonard in 2019:

3. Los Angeles Lakers

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Getty Images / Yong Teck Lim

Despite having limited cap space after acquiring Anthony Davis, the Lakers would be foolish not to at least investigate a way to get Leonard on their roster. Originally from Southern California, there have been reports about Leonard wanting to come back and play near friends and family. If those reports are true, teaming up with Davis and LeBron James wouldn't be a bad way to go about it. However, considering that the Lakers aren't projected to have enough cap space to offer Leonard a full max contract, they would either need to free up some space or convince Leonard to take less money for this to work.

2. Toronto Raptors

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Getty Images / Ezra Shaw

Considering what he's done for the franchise, the Raptors are expected to do everything in their power to bring Leonard back for at least another season. While there are a number of personal factors that may have Leonard leaning a certain way (it was reported that Leonard does not like cold weather when he was first traded to Toronto), he clearly fits in well with team from a purely basketball standpoint.

1. Los Angeles Clippers

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Getty Images / Harry How

After getting knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by the Golden State Warriors, the Clippers approach the offseason looking to improve in a big way. Enter Kawhi, who would immediately turn this team into one of the favorites to win the NBA title. If the Clippers can use their cap space to add Leonard to a roster already filled with talented role players, they could be a top team in the West for years to come. As Los Angeles' other NBA team, the Clippers also check many of the same off-the-court boxes as the Lakers do.

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Leo Abbe-Schneider is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Leo also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username leoabbe2. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.