NBA Kawhi Leonard LA Clippers Lakers deal trade

All summer, we’ve heard and read countless rumors and reports that Kawhi Leonard was heading to the Los Angeles Lakers. Just a week ago, there were various reports from the Lakers camp that the franchise was ‘in the driving seat’ to sign Leonard. But the Clippers played a blinder, and have managed to clinch Leonard’s signing.

Leonard playing with the Lakers?

Looking back at how it all transpired, one cannot help but wonder if Leonard was playing, toying with the Lakers all along.

NBA Kawhi Leonard LA Clippers Lakers trade deal

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne was analyzing Leonard’s move, and she revealed an odd bit of information- the Lakers were ready to complete the Anthony Davis trade as early as Friday night, but instead, Leonard’s camp asked the Lakers to delay the deal till Sunday.

No explanation was given, just a warning that if the Lakers failed to do as they were told, they would be out of the race for signing Leonard. The Lakers, who were willing to do all they can to land the NBA All-Star, relented.

A Kawhi Leonard Masterplan?

But what if this was a big masterplan from Leonard? What if he strung the Lakers along, even though he knew he was going to sign for the Raptors or the Clippers, just to keep their max slot open?

NBA Kawhi Leonard LA Clippers Lakers trade deal

It does seem like a stretch, but it is not out of the realms of possibility. And after all, a move to the Lakers never made much sense for Leonard anyway. He was instrumental in getting the Raptors the championship, why would he then go to the Lakers and play second fiddle to King James?

Perhaps Leonard was simply playing the waiting game, to see if he could get Paul George to come with him to the Clippers as well.