The Los Angeles Lakers don’t intend to jump through hoops to create enough cap space for a third max-level signing unless Kawhi Leonard is walking through that door.
While the Lakers are only considered an outside option for the recently-crowned NBA champion, he is currently the only player they view as worthy of shaking out the roster for, according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks (via Showtime Forum).
“The only way they’re going to get a third team is if a player like Kawhi Leonard is going to come here. They’re not going to move those players just to create an extra 3-4 million in room.”
Los Angeles would have a daunting scenario to line up a potential team to trade their assets, as well as renouncing their rights to players in hopes to make just enough room to sign a star like Leonard.
Yet they may fall short of what other teams could offer.
The L.A. Clippers have the potential to sign two max-level players, with Leonard being the juiciest apple of their eye. The Toronto Raptors pose an even stronger case, able to pay him more, as well as just proving to him that they have championship potential after winning their first-ever NBA title this past season.
The Lakers are viewed as outsiders in this deal, and while there is a very slim possibility, it’s likely a long shot, as that interest has yet to be reciprocated by the two-time Finals MVP.