Report: Kawhi Leonard's camp to meet with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss ... and Magic Johnson

Jack BaerWriter
Yahoo Sports

Magic Johnson is quite infamously no longer a member of the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office. He’s still reportedly going to be part of one of the team’s biggest meetings of the offseason.

Representatives for top free agent Kawhi Leonard plan to meet with both Johnson and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss when free agency begins, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

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In addition to the Lakers’ owner and its top tweeter, at least two of the four players left on the team’s roster are planning to take part in the team’s pitch.

Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Chris Haynes had previously reported that the Lakers had landed a meeting with Leonard, but seeing Johnson join in for any part of the process is quite something. The Hall of Fame point guard resigned out of the blue near the end of the regular season, and has ruffled quite a few feathers on his way out. In one instance, Johnson publicly accused Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka of stabbing him in the back.

And now, Johnson may be getting involved in the Lakers’ pursuit of the top free agent of the offseason.

The Lakers just finished up clearing the cap space required to sign a max free agent like Leonard, and you’d figure that the forward ranks as the team’s top target.

However, according to Ramona Shelburne, Johnson will not be part of any official team meetings due to NBA rules.

Johnson’s meeting with Leonard may be just that, a Southern California native meeting one of Los Angeles’ basketball legends.

Leonard just finished a season in which he led a Toronto Raptors team with no other superstars to the franchise’s first ever championship, averaging 30.5 points and 9.1 rebounds during the 2019 playoffs.

With Leonard set to hit free agency, the Raptors are believed to be the favorite to land him. However, if there’s a team that can pry Leonard away, it’s probably playing in Staples Center.

Magic Johnson will be a part of the Lakers' pitch to Kawhi Leonard. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Magic Johnson will be a part of the Lakers' pitch to Kawhi Leonard. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Clippers have long been considered a possibility to sign the Southern California native, who has been reported in the past to want to return home. The Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis now on board, obviously offer a different dynamic than a Clippers team that made the playoffs last year despite featuring no stars even close to James’ caliber. It remains to be seen if Leonard is interested in creating a potential superteam.

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