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In an era of super teams, Kawhi Leonard has proven that he is capable of carrying a franchise to the promised land without another All-Star player. Still, despite bringing them their first NBA championship, it was understood that the Toronto Raptors were not Leonard's preferred destination when traded from San Antonio.
Kawhi will now enter free agency where he must decide whether he'll continue to reign as the King of the North or trade the crown for another destination. It's rumored that the potential teams Leonard would like to play for are both in his hometown of Los Angeles. With the Lakers' pending trade with the Pelicans for Anthony Davis, it was reported that they are now seeking to sign Kawhi. At the same time, Leonard has long said he wanted to join the Clippers even before his championship run with the Raptors.
See below for the latest rumors and reports on Kawhi Leonard's free agency.
1/25/19 9:30 a.m. ET: It's reported that Kawhi Leonard purchased a $13.3 million mansion in Southern California. This sparked speculation that he would be signing with an L.A. team this summer.
5/16/19 9:00 a.m. ET: Toronto announces the Ka'wine & Dine Initiative which offers Leonard free food and other luxuries for life if he re-signs with the Raptors.
5/23/19 8:04 p.m. ET: ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports LeBron James has been in contact with Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler in hopes one (or both) will sign with the Lakers.
5/26/19 5:55 p.m. ET: Leonard's sister allegedly posts and deletes video claiming Kawhi is leaving Toronto. She later says people took comments in the background of her video out of context.
5/29/19 9:00 a.m. ET: The Clippers are looking into purchasing Kawhi Leonard's "Klaw" logo from Nike to help with his legal dispute against the company and possibly persuade him to sign with the team, per the New York Time's Marc Stien.
5/31/19 3:30 p.m. ET: The NBA fines the Clippers $50,000 for violating the league's tampering rules. This came as a result of the comments coach Doc Rivers made on ESPN about Kawhi.
6/8/19 3:15 a.m. ET: Newsday's Steve Popper reports that the New York Knicks are "actively" seeking a meeting with Leonard.
6/14/19 1:20 p.m. ET: ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowksi believes the Raptors have "work to do" if they want to resign Kawhi Leonard.
6/15/19 9:40 p.m. ET: The Lakers are reportedly contemplating using their remaining cap space to sign Kawhi Leonard.
6/17/19 2:15 p.m. ET: Kawhi Leonard's uncle Dennis chants "five more years" along with the crowd at Toronto's championship parade.
6/18/19 8:24 a.m. ET: ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports Kawhi Leonard's "focus" is on the Los Angeles Clippers, not the Lakers.
6/23/19 8:06 a.m. ET: Two digital billboards appeared approximately 10 miles from the Staples Center. One mimicked New Balance's "King of the North" sign that was created during the Finals by crossing out "North" and putting "SoCal" in red letters with the hashtag, #KAWHI2LAC. The other billboard sported a California license plate that read "Kawhi." It was reported that this promotion was paid for by a group not associated with the Los Angeles Clippers, but have a strong interest in seeing the LA native be a part of the franchise.
6/23/19 7:22 p.m. ET: Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reports that Leonard has declined $21.3 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
6/24/19 11:15 p.m. ET: The Athletic’s Frank Isola reports that Kawhi will be meeting with the Clippers.
Kawhi and the Clippers meeting tentatively scheduled for July 2nd is what I’m hearing. LA has a home court advantage but Toronto can get him another title next year.— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) June 25, 2019
6/28/19 10:17 a.m. ET: Stephen A. Smith appeared on ESPN's Get Up! and shared that the Clippers are "very nervous" because he's "received the word that Kawhi Leonard is seriously considering the Los Angeles Lakers."
6/29/19 11:37 a.m. ET: Reports surface claiming Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant are considering joining forced on either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Knicks.
6/30/19 09:40 p.m. ET: Kawhi spoke with Magic Johnson, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reports.
Yahoo Sources: Kawhi Leonard will not meet with teams on first day of free agency; will take his time through process. https://t.co/9WFD2x5Zvp— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 1, 2019