Magic Johnson says he received word that Kawhi Leonard had an interest in speaking with him as the free agent prepares to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers but that he is not permitted by NBA rules to be part of official team meetings with prospective free agents.
Johnson was expected to meet with Kawhi and Jeanie Buss.
But the NBA will simply not allow it.
Johnson’s comments seem to leave room that he could still meet with Leonard privately and try to steer him toward the Lakers, just not under the team’s direction. Simply just as a civilian.
“A friend of mine called and says Kawhi wants to meet with you,” Johnson told ESPN. “I said no problem. I’m available if that’s what this man wants.”
“I got a great life. I want to stick to that great life,” Johnson said. “I’m not trying to mess with anybody’s job.”
Johnson said he has left messages for Buss but hasn’t heard back from her on the request from Leonard to meet with him.
“Whatever she wants to do, I’m fine with it,” Johnson said. “Everyone at this point just wants the Lakers to be good, and it’s from her leadership.
Leonard is expected to meet with the Lakers, the Clippers and the Toronto Raptors once the free agency negotiating window opens Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.
He averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the regular season, and went on to win Finals MVP for his central role in the Raptors’ title run.
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