It’s largely been thought that Kawhi Leonard’s free agency will feature a two-team race between the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers. The New York Knicks are holding out hope that they will get consideration from the superstar, and there might be reason to believe the team at least has a chance to sign him.

The New York Post reported late last week that the Knicks expect to meet with Leonard this summer. The Knicks have been viewed as the favorites to land Kevin Durant this offseason, but they would still have another max salary slot available if they manage to sign the Golden State Warriors’ star.

Fox Sports’ Cris Carter said on “First Things First” Monday morning that the chances of the Knicks signing Leonard are higher than most think.

For months, it’s been speculated that the Knicks would try to sign Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency. The latest rumors suggest that Irving is likely headed to the Brooklyn Nets, where the point guard might be hoping to play alongside Durant.

A Durant-Leonard pairing is possible, though highly unlikely. The Los Angeles Clippers were once thought to be the heavy favorites to land Leonard, and they’ve been eyeing the possibility of acquiring both stars in July.

Leonard is from Los Angeles and reportedly spent $13.3 million on a Southern California home earlier this season. Toronto’s run to the 2019 NBA Finals has seemingly increased the Raptors’ chances of keeping Leonard north of the border. The team could clinch their first-ever championship Monday night.

When Leonard asked to be traded from the San Antonio Spurs last year, he preferred to be dealt to one of the two Los Angeles teams. ESPN reported during the 2017-2018 season that San Antonio feared Leonard’s camp would try to steer him to L.A., Philadelphia or New York.

Dennis Robertson, Leonard’s uncle, is among Leonard’s most trusted advisers. Robertson lives in New Jersey, and Leonard chose to undergo rehabilitation for his quad injury last year in New York City.

Leonard is likely going to win his second NBA Finals MVP award before seeking a max contract in a few weeks.

Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard will be a free agent in 2019. In this picture, Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors shoots a free throw during the second half of the NBA season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, Oct. 17, 2018. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images