Kawhi Leonard rumors: Lakers on Raptors star's radar for 2019 free agency, but they're last on his list

So much for Kawhi Leonard longing to land in Los Angeles.

Sort of.

While the consensus has long been that the former Spurs star wants to play with the Lakers, a new nugget from ESPN's Ramona Shelburne on ESPN Los Angeles suggests LeBron James' new team isn't on the top of his preferred destination list for 2019 free agency. In fact, it isn't even second on the list.

"The Clippers are the No. 1-ranked team for Kawhi Leonard next season," Shelburne said, per Farbod Esnaashari. "The Raptors are No. 2, and the Lakers are No. 3."

NBC Sports' Kurt Helin backs Shelburne's suggestion, citing several reasons Leonard isn't as high on the Lakers as many have assumed. First, there's the reality that Kawhi would be playing in LeBron's shadow. Then there's the idea that "Leonard is not a person who seeks out the spotlight, is not a social media guy, doesn't want ... to be part of the celebrity culture" that the Lakers brand would all but guarantee.

Leonard, of course, still has a season to play with the Raptors, too. The two-time All-Star and former NBA Finals MVP was a coveted trade target this offseason before landing with Toronto as part of a multi-player swap in mid-July. He's set to hit free agency after this season, having spent the last seven years starring for the Spurs.

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