Lakers Writer: L.A. Is "Big-Game Hunting"

The Lakers can add a third max player, and there's no denying who's atop their wish list

June 28, 2019 - 7:47 am
Kawhi Leonard Raptors NBA Finals

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Anthony Davis hasn’t played a single minute for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he’s already taking one for the team. He has waived his $4 million bonus, freeing up cap space – $32 million – for the Lakers to add a third max player.

“They’re expecting something big to happen in free agency,” Southern California News Group Lakers writer Kyle Goon said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I kind of fixate on that number, 32 – just the fact that they did everything they could to get to that specific number tells me that they’re big-game hunting.”

While the Lakers would likely be happy to add any of the big-name free agents, Kawhi Leonard has to be atop their wish list.

“I think that’s the guy they really, really want,” Goon said. “That’s the guy who can push this into really historic super-team territory. If you’re Anthony Davis, you’re not giving up $4 million for a bunch of scrubs; I think you’re expecting something big to come out of that money that you’re giving up.”

Leonard, who just led the Raptors to their first NBA title in franchise history, might actually enjoy playing in the shadows of LeBron James and AD. A two-time Finals MVP, Leonard isn’t exactly the most outgoing, attention-seeking guy.

But his talent is undeniable.

“I think he just proved to everybody he can be the top-tier guy on a team,” Goon said. “Even though Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol are great players, they’re not superstars. I think he just proved he can be the guy. He doesn’t necessarily need anybody to win or compete for championships. Everyone has kind of struggled to figure out what does Kawhi want? What does Kawhi expect? I think No. 1 is just that competitive ability and maybe coming back to Southern California. It’s just kind of a question mark because he keeps such a tight circle.”

Click below to listen to Goon’s interview in its entirety.