Kawhi Leonard was the last of the elite free agents to make his decision in free agency, which is said to have hampered more than one team pursuing the small forward. The 2-time NBA Finals MVP eventually joined Los Angeles Clippers but not before holding extensive meetings with Los Angeles Lakers and his former employers Toronto Raptors with whom he won the 2019 NBA Championship.

The likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson, who were other in-demand free agents this summer made their decision just hours after free agency began but Leonard, who was probably the most sought after player, took his time. The 2019 NBA champion took over a week to make his decision and the teams that missed out – Lakers and Raptors – are not too happy with the way the player approached negotiations.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that the Lakers felt played by Leonard after they pegged as the favorites to land the small forward. They put all their free agency plans on hold while waiting for the former Raptor to make his decision and were eventually disappointed.

Kawhi Leonard Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors runs down the floor in the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on January 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. Rob Carr/Getty Images

While they did make good additions in Danny Green and DeMarcus Cousins, they missed out on the likes of Kemba Walker and D’Angelo Russell, who joined Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors respectively. The Raptors, on the other hand, also believe Leonard was never serious about signing with them after his representatives made outrageous demands of the franchise before choosing to move back home and sign with the Clippers.

“I’ve heard complaints in the days after the signing. I heard complaints from the Lakers that they got played. I heard complaints from the Raptors that Kawhi came in and asked for the sun, the moon, and the stars then left them at the altar,” Windhorst said during his appearance on ESPN’s “The Hoop Collective”.

“I kind of think they were all still in the game, and they all felt like they were still in the game. If Toronto did not still feel like they were in the game, they would not have sent the plane for him, they would not have done the big presentation. If the Lakers didn't think that they were still in the game, they would not have delayed the Anthony Davis trade like they did to wait and see if they could get him,” he added.