Magic Johnson confirmed on Sunday that he spoke with Kawhi Leonard about the possibility of the NBA Finals MVP joining the Los Angeles Lakers, and the reported details of the conversation make it seem like Leonard is genuinely considering teaming up with LeBron James.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times said in an appearance on Spectrum Sportsnet Sunday that Leonard and his uncle and business manager, Dennis Robertson, have spoken with Johnson several times. One question they asked is whether or not the Lakers tried to trade for Kawhi prior to last season, to which Magic said the team did but would have had to give up too much because of Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs being hesitant to do business with them. Leonard and Robertson also asked about the dysfunction in the Lakers organization.
“(Robertson asked) is it as dysfunctional as we’re reading and hearing?'” Turner said, as transcribed by Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll. “And the response was, ‘We had some issues, but we’re past that. I’m past that. We’re still a family, such as you fight with your brothers and sisters sometimes, well, I had somewhat of a disagreement with my sister. And Rob Pelinka, yes, I said he was a back-stabber, but that happened then. Now I want the Lakers to be a championship team. Having Kawhi here would do that.'”
Leonard also asked if the Lakers would be open to adding some of his personal medical people to the team’s staff, and Magic said they had done that with LeBron James and he believes they would make the same accommodations for Kawhi.
The overall takeaway here is that Leonard doesn’t seem like the type of guy who wants to waste time, and asking those types of questions must mean he is legitimately interested in the Lakers. We may have to wait a while for his decision, but the Lakers are clearly in the running.