Kawhi Leonard is working out with Kobe Bryant… and almost smiling

Kurt Helin
NBC Sports

Kobe Bryant has become of the “former player workout gurus” around the NBA, where players looking to step up their game come to him seeking wisdom and some practical advice. Boston’s Jayson Tatum talked about it, Luka Doncic was there, and others have sought out his counsel or just a good workout as well.

Including Kawhi Leonard.

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Instagram Photo
Instagram Photo

Is that Kawhi Leonard smiling? Maybe? Since we’ve seen that about as often as Bigfoot, it’s hard to trust the photographic evidence.

This, of course, will add fuel to the “Leonard is coming to the Lakers” rumor mill. He was also working out with LeBron James at UCLA not that long ago, so this is a done… not so fast. There’s a lot consider here. First, the guy with the greyish beard in this photos is Raptors’ assistant coach Phil Handy (he posted the photo), who also organizes the UCLA summer run and happened to be a Lakers’ assistant coach in the Kobe era, and was with LeBron as a Cavaliers assistant coach. Handy is the guy that ties all these workouts together — and as the Raptors are cutting his checks right now, you can guess what decision he might want Leonard to make.

While Leonard to the Lakers is a distinct possibility (even with the Raptors doing their best recruiting job this season), consider this as well: Leonard is not a naturally public person, not a guy who seeks out the spotlight, not a guy who likes to show up on TMZ or other celebrity publications, and not a guy who likes a lot of drama around him on the team. Does that sound like the Lakers? Let’s just say that and comments from other sources around the league lead me to say the Lakers are no lock with Leonard. Frontrunners? Yes. But it’s a long race until next July.

Having Kobe in the mix certainly does not hurt the Lakers’ cause, however.

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