By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The NBA offseason is in the midst of some great theater right now. There’s really nothing like it. The wildest rumors come true. The biggest stars switch teams. And this summer has been particularly enjoyable because the Golden State Warriors are no longer the clear-cut favorite to win the NBA championship. It’s as wide-open as the league has been in five years.
And yet, Kawhi Leonard could be on the cusp of ruining everything all over again.
The biggest free agent on the market entering July, and now by far the biggest star remaining without a team, Leonard could be simply choosing which hometown colors he wants to wear. But if former Celtic Kendrick Perkins, who certainly has some connections around the league, is to be believed? Leonard is leaning Lakers.
Just heard that Kawhi is meeting with the Clippers tonight but the Lakers hold the upper hand, unless Doc work his Magic tonight it’s looking very strong that Kawhi will be in Purple and Gold!!!— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) July 2, 2019
It’s hard to believe that Leonard, a Los Angeles native who stuck it out in Toronto and led them himself to an NBA title, would suddenly want to play second fiddle to LeBron James with the Lakers. Add Anthony Davis to the mix and you’ve got your latest unbeatable super-team. It would be easily the most infuriating free-agent decision since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in 2016.
Would it be as detestable as Durant, who joined a team that had already won an NBA championship and was coming off a record 73-win season after beating his team earlier in the playoffs? Not really. But joining forces with James and Davis might give the Lakers literally the three best players in the NBA.
We’d be right back to asking the same insufferable question: is the season even worth watching?
For the sake of the health of the league, everyone who’s not a Laker fan needs to root against this. No sane human should like the idea of Leonard going to the Lakers. Hopefully he decides to forge his own path as the leader of the Clippers, or even stays in Toronto for four more runs at a ring.
Leonard would be making the smartest decision for championship purposes if he goes to the Lakers. But he’d also be risking his respect from observers around the league. From anyone who appreciates legitimate competition, anyway.
Because LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard on the same team would not be a legitimate competition.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.