Lakers, Clippers and Raptors schedule meetings with Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is entering free agency fresh off an NBA championship with the Raptors.

Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard will meet with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors on Sunday, the first day of free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Leonard is expected to allow the world champion Raptors to make the final recruiting pitch of all the teams.

“The incumbent often prefers to go last in trying to convince a player to stay with team,” Wojnarowski reported.

The New York Knicks are also expecting to meet with Leonard, though it is not yet known if a meeting is actually scheduled.

Leonard led the Raptors to the title in his first season with the team. Several reports have suggested he is strongly leaning toward a short-term deal to remain with the club — perhaps even a two-year contract with a player option, allowing him to enter free agency again at the end of next season.

β€œIt has been suggested that a so-called 2 + 1 deal with the Raptors β€” signing a two-year deal with a player option in Year 3 β€” would also hold appeal for Leonard, since he would then be eligible for a higher maximum contract in the summer of 2021 after completing his 10th season,” Marc Stein of the New York Times wrote in his latest newsletter.

Leonard averaged 26.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in 60 regular-season games with the Raptors. Some around the league believe Leonard has already made up his mind about where he’ll play next season.