It may be time to douse the flames regarding those fiery hot Los Angeles Lakers rumors. Recent word of mouth courtesy of NBA analyst Jalen Rose suggests that recent NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is staying with the Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, another sports personality is disputing what Rose is saying and believes the Lakers still have a chance.
Rose is ’99 percent hearing’ Kawhi will re-sign in Toronto
Jalen Rose appeared on ESPN’s Get Up alongside Mike Greenberg, Jay Williams, and Richard Jefferson. Greenberg noted that back when Rose suggested Kawhi would never play for the San Antonio Spurs again, a lot of people doubted him.
That ultimately became true. Kawhi was traded to the Toronto Raptors along with Danny Green in a deal involving DeMar DeRozan. He’d go on to win a second NBA title in his first season with the Raptors.
Now Rose is dropping another major nugget on the basketball world. On the ESPN show, he said he is “99 percent hearing” that Kawhi plans to sign a new two-year deal to remain with the Toronto Raptors. Check out the full video clip below with Rose and his colleagues discussing that major revelation.
According to reports, Leonard met with Raptors executives on Wednesday (July 3) to discuss re-signing with the champions. While Rose is saying what sounds like an absolute certainty that Kawhi Leonard is staying north of the border, another analyst is refuting that.
Cris Carter says Kawhi’s decision is still ongoing
Fox Sports 1’s Cris Carter still believes it’s a three-team race to sign Kawhi. The Lakers are one of those teams along with the Raptors and Clippers. Carter posted on Twitter on Wednesday night to reaffirm that belief as he called out “premature reports” that are floating around.
A LOT of premature reports out there. Kawhi has NOT made his decision yet & all 3 teams are still in it. Yes, Lakers and Clippers are still in play and I’m 💯 certain of this.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting an answer any time soon. Kawhi still undecided. #Kawhiwatch
— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) July 3, 2019
Both Jalen Rose and Cris Carter are former star athletes with plenty of connections in the sports world. However, only one of them will be right. Carter’s take gives him a bit more wiggle room, while Rose’s has him on the hot seat to suggest Kawhi’s decision is pretty much set.
NBA Championship odds for Lakers, Raptors
As of this report, nothing is official, as Jalen Rose’s comments regarding Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors are what he’s heard from others. Until the deal is officially announced, Lakers fans are going to continue to hope for the best.
There’s also some good news in that the Los Angeles Lakers are currently No. 1 in terms of the 2019-20 NBA Championship odds. According to Odds Shark, the Lakers are 3-1 favorites to win it all next season.
Odds to be the first to officially report the Kawhi Leonard signing (Bovada):@Wojespn +125@ShamsCharania +200@TheSteinLine +700@ZachLowe_NBA +900@Espn_macmahon +900@Kawhileonard +1800@Lakers +900@LAClippers +1500@Raptors +1000#KawhiWatch
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) July 3, 2019
The Toronto Raptors are a bit farther down the list at 10-1 odds to win it all. It’s unknown if that number will change once Kawhi’s decision is reported, but one has to think they’ll be the favorites in the East with Leonard returning.
As far as when this will be announced, that’s anyone’s guess. However, Kawhi could join Kevin Durant by making his decision known on July 4. KD rocked the NBA world just three years ago with the epic announcement he was joining the Golden State Warriors.