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Odds Say Kawhi Leonard More Likely to Join Lakers Than Clippers

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors are off to a 23-9 start during Nick Nurse's first season as head coach. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)
  • New odds suggest that Kawhi Leonard could just be a one-year rental for the Raptors 
  • Will the two-time Defensive Player of the Year team up with LeBron in LA?
  • Can the Clippers lure Leonard with the promise of a max deal?   

Kawhi Leonard bought a home in Toronto in early September, but at least one sportsbook thinks he should have rented instead. Bovada has released a pair of new props that strongly suggest the Klaw may be headed to Los Angeles as soon as the 2018-19 season wraps up.

The online sportsbook has put the odds of Leonard joining the Lakers at +275, which is just a hair ahead of the Clippers at +285. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers and see where the value lies.

Odds Kawhi Leonard Signs with the Lakers

Where Will Kawhi Leonard Play Game 1 of the 2019-20 NBA Season? Odds at Bovada
Los Angeles Lakers +275
Any Other Team -450

Online sportsbooks had the odds of Leonard joining the Lakers as long as +500 on October 14th, but that was before LA went on a tear. Luke Walton’s squad has won 15 of its last 20 games and finds itself in fifth place in the crowded Western Conference. They likely won’t advance to the NBA Finals this season, but they would become instant championship contenders next year with Leonard playing alongside LeBron James.

LA’s improved play is sure to appeal to Leonard, but the Lakers have far more to offer him than a shot at another ring. The club can also give Leonard a four-year, $141 million deal and the chance to be the face of the NBA’s most glamorous franchise once LeBron invariably rides off into the sunset.

That’s a pretty sweet deal for a Southern California kid who grew up just 90 minutes away from Staples Center.

Odds Kawhi Leonard Signs with the Clippers

Where Will Kawhi Leonard Play Game 1 of the 2019-20 NBA Season? Odds at Bovada
Los Angeles Clippers +285
Any Other Team -470

No team has done more to attract Leonard’s attention this season than the Clippers, who have been treating the 27-year-old like a highly sought-after college recruit by sending team representatives to nearly all of his games. It’s just one part of a multi-tier strategy that has also included clearing space for two max salary contracts, and appointing NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West as an executive board member.

It doesn’t hurt that the Clippers are also way ahead of schedule. LA had the best record in the West throughout much of November and currently ranks in the top five league-wide in points per game, three-point percentage, and true shooting percentage.

Leonard – and the fellow free agent of his choice – would look pretty good beside two-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, and emerging power forward Tobias Harris, who is averaging 20 points and 8.2 rebounds in his eighth season.

Is Leonard LA Bound?

If Leonard is truly homesick he’ll ultimately choose between the Lakers and Clippers, but if he’s looking for the best fit he should stay in Toronto. The Raptors have the best record in the NBA and have already strung together three winning streaks of six games or more. They’re deep, they’re dynamic, and they’ve already proven they’re an excellent fit for Leonard and his unique skill set.

Toronto can offer Leonard one more year and $49 million more on his next contract than any other team.

Toronto can also offer Leonard one more year and $49 million more on his next contract than the other 29 teams in the league. That’s a big chunk of change and it’s the reason why we’re putting our money on “Any Other Team”.

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