?KAWHI WATCH: Clippers said to be out, but close decision now between Raptors & Lakers may take until Friday

NBA free agency: What reporters are saying after Kawhi Leonard’s meeting with the Raptors

Nick Schwartz | USA TODAY SPORTS

Kawhi Leonard reportedly returned to Toronto on Wednesday – but his stay may only be temporary. A news helicopter tracked a vehicle that was believed to be transporting Leonard to a meeting with the Raptors, leading many Toronto fans to begin celebrating an eventual announcement that Leonard would be staying to defend the NBA championship. According to multiple reports, however, Leonard has not yet made his decision, and may not announce his pick until Friday at the earliest.

ESPN’s Jalen Rose reported that Leonard’s process was all but over, saying Wednesday that he was “99 percent hearing” Leonard would sign a deal with Toronto. According to Rose, Leonard was eyeing a two-year deal that would allow him to hit free agency again after his 10th year of service in the league, which would then allow him to sign the biggest possible contract available to players.

The Athletic’s Jabari Young, however, reported later on Wednesday that according to his sources, Leonard has not discussed signing a two-year deal.

FS1’s Cris Carter tweeted “breaking news” on Thursday, reporting that Leonard will not be announcing his decision on July 4th.

According to FS1’s Chris Broussard, Drake played a significant role in Toronto’s pitch, and opened the door for Leonard to join his OVO brand. Broussard is also reporting that the Clippers are out of the picture altogether.

ESPN’s Tim McMahon tweeted that according to an NBA player who will be affected by Leonard’s decision, the reigning NBA Finals MVP is going back to Toronto. McMahon clarified that his source is not Danny Green, who won a title with the Raptors in 2019 and is still on the market as a free agent.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter that Leonard will operate on his own timeline, and that all three teams hoping to land him have no idea what Leonard’s decision will be.


WATCH: Snoop makes pitch for Kawhi to come back home to the Lakers

Long-time Lakers fan Snoop Dogg makes pitch for Kawhi Leonard to come back to LA

Ben Weinrib | Yahoo Sports

NBA free agency is all but settled with the last major domino to fall being Kawhi Leonard choosing between the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. That’s led to each of those teams — and their fans — going all out to recruit the Finals MVP.

Last Saturday, a Los Angeles-area artist painted a massive mural of Leonard in a Lakers uniform, holding the Larry O’Brien trophy, and now the Lakers have their biggest spokesman yet.

Rapper and long-time Lakers fan Snoop Dogg posted a video to his Instagram account with a song to convince Leonard to return to his hometown.

Snoop’s song was short but sweet and to the point:

“Kawhi, Kawhi, tell me that you’ll be a Laker

Kawhi, Kawhi, come back to LA

They said Kawhi, Kawhi, tell me that you’ll be a Laker

Kawhi, Kawhi, come back to LA

Don’t do Drake that way

Kawhi, Kawhi, you should sign back with the Lakers”

This isn’t he first time Snoop has made a recruiting pitch — even about this free agent class. He went on Jimmy Kimmel Live in June and said that the two players he wanted on the Lakers were Kawhi and Anthony Davis and claimed that he reached out to them to talk about all the business opportunities in LA.

While Snoop Dogg has been very positive this offseason, he’s been vocal about changes needed in the organization. After an embarrassing loss to the Phoenix Suns in March, he called for mass firings and personnel changes while offering up his box seats at Staples Center for $5.

Let’s hope he hung onto those seats for next year, since the Lakers will enter the 2019-20 season as heavy favorites to win the title.