The Toronto Raptors are hopeful they can land a long-term commitment from Kawhi Leonard, much like the Oklahoma City Thunder achieved with Paul George this summer. But, per a new report, he still wants to end up in Los Angeles in 2019.
"So far, Leonard's preference is to sign in Los Angeles with either the Lakers or Clippers next season," reports ESPN's Ian Begley.
On July 18, the San Antonio Spurs sent Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 first-round pick. Interestingly, the ESPN report also states the Raptors have added a staffer with ties to Leonard—Jeremy Castleberry.
"Castleberry has worked with Leonard as a Spurs staffer and played with Leonard in high school and at San Diego State, where he was a walk-on," Begley writes.
The Worldwide Leader's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri made the deal focused on convincing Leonard to re-up next summer, at which point he will have the opportunity to opt out of his current deal and sign a max contract elsewhere. Per every rumor floating around the league—and this report—he still seems to be leaning toward Hollywood.
Leonard requested a trade this summer, and it was widely reported that his heart was set on joining the Lakers. But things seemed to change after LeBron James signed with the Lake Show, and reports indicated Leonard's focus may have shifted to the Clippers. Don't be surprised if Leonard opts for the rebuilding Clippers over the Lakers and other suitors next summer.