Nobody seems to know for sure what Kawhi Leonard is going to do this summer. Some believe that the Los Angeles Clippers are still the favorites to sign the 2019 NBA Finals MVP, while others give the Toronto Raptors the best chance to ink him to a new contract.

If it’s not completely a two-team race for Leonard, the Clippers and Raptors, at the very least, appear to have an upper hand on the competition. The New York Knicks reportedly believe they’ll get a meeting with Leonard with a shot to convince him to go to the Big Apple.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to Leonard since last year when he asked to be traded from the San Antonio Spurs. The No.1 team in L.A. is probably a long shot to land the most sought-after free agent, but the organization might feel differently.

A Western Conference VP has told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher that the Lakers are operating as if “they think they have a strong shot” to acquire Leonard. NBA insider Peter Vescey reported in May that Lakers owner Jeanie Buss “believes she’s going to get Kawhi.” 

Maybe that belief was strengthened when Los Angeles agreed to trade for Anthony Davis. A trio of LeBron James, Davis and Leonard would make L.A. the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals, no matter what other players fill out the rest of the roster.

The Davis trade could potentially make the Lakers a more appealing destination for Leonard. The deal might also make it impossible for Los Angeles to offer Leonard a max contract.

The Lakers will have $23.7 million in salary cap space if the trade with the New Orleans Pelicans is made official on July 6, as expected. Los Angeles would need to either delay the trade until July 30 or trade away other players on their roster like Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga in order to have the $32.5 million available to make Leonard a max offer.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Leonard is focused on the Clippers, not the Lakers, in considering a return to Southern California. Leonard is a Los Angeles native and attended college at San Diego State University. He reportedly purchased a $13.3 million home in San Diego during the season.

It’s possible that Leonard could end up in Los Angeles, just not for next season. There’s increased speculation that the forward will sign a short-term contract with Toronto, which would allow him to re-enter free agency either next year or in 2021. 

The Lakers are expected to pursue all the top free agents this summer. Kemba Walker and Jimmy Butler are also on the team’s wish-list as potential co-stars to Davis and James.

Klay Thompson had been viewed as a target for the Lakers, though it’ll be shocking if he doesn’t sign a five-year max contract to stay with the Golden State Warriors. A torn ACL could keep Thompson out for most of next season.

The Lakers probably won’t give Kevin Durant a max contract offer since a ruptured Achilles could keep him out until the 2020-2021 season.

The most likely scenario for the Lakers might be dividing their remaining cap space among a few roles players instead of one All-Star. Danny Green and Patrick Beverley are potential options for Los Angeles as they try to build an immediate championship contender.