It’s now Day 4 of the official opening of the NBA free agency period, and the most-coveted player on the market still has not made a deal.
As the NBA world awaits Kawhi Leoanrd’s decision, rumors about his leanings are running rampant with very few, if any of them credible.
What we do know is that he’s considering the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers in addition to the Toronto Raptors he just led to their first NBA championship.
Report: Leonard’s camp warned suitors not to leak
And, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard’s camp has warned those teams not to leak any information about their recruiting pitches or negotiations.
“If information on your presentation gets out, you’re really imperiling your chance to sign Kawhi Leonard,” Wojnarowski said that teams have been told while on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Wednesday morning.
Wojnarowski, widely considered the most connected reporter covering the NBA, didn’t even have a firm answer on whether Leonard had completed his round of pitch meetings with his three suitors.
“There have been presentations that have taken place,” Wojnarowski said. “The Raptors may still be up.”
Wojnarwoski also said not to expect news of a decision until late Wednesday at the earliest with July 4 being a possibility.
The Athletic’s Jabari Young reported later that Leonard won’t make a decision Wednesday and that it may be a few more days before he does. He also reported that two-year deals were not on the table.
On the Kawhi front, told he’s not making a decision tonight and it may not be until the next few days. He and his reps are going through the process and taking their time before deciding the next move. No 2-year deals have been discussed. #NBA @TheAthleticNBA— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) July 4, 2019
Freakout in Toronto
Since Wojnarowski’s report, local media in Toronto went into a frenzy, jumping on rumors that Leonard had flown to town, engaging in a helicopter chase of a vehicle believed to be carrying Kawhi in a scene that was half O.J. Simpson-white Bronco chase/half “Goodfellas” coke freakout.
A CP24 news helicopter following two black SUVs. One of which believed to contain Kawhi. pic.twitter.com/dE6qn3NBv3— Rob Gillies (@rgilliescanada) July 3, 2019
Rumors of Raptors GM Masai Ujiri showing up at a Toronto hotel prompted a throng of Toronto fans to swarm the exterior of the hotel.
This is the growing crowd outside the Hazelton Hotel in #Toronto where it's believed Kawhi Leonard is about to meet with Raptors pres Ujiri and GM Webster— James Wattie (@jameswattie) July 3, 2019
(Video: @GregRoss17)#KawhiWatch pic.twitter.com/tcBUtB7KSc
Don’t believe what you hear
Meanwhile athletes with microphones and sports talking heads have “reported” everything from Leonard-to-Raptors being a done deal to Leonard still mulling all three suitors.
To be clear, these reports are not credible. They are noise. Woj doesn’t know. These dudes certainly don’t. Don’t believe what you see or hear until a trusted source breaks it or Leonard makes the announcement himself.
Anxiety is high in NBA circles. Leonard doesn’t care. He’ll make this decision when he’s good and ready.
In the meantime, the rest of us will just have to wait it out.
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