Basketball / NBA

Free agency moves shake up NBA; Rui Hachimura agrees to rookie contract

AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

Kawhi Leonard’s uncertain NBA free agency fate kept three teams in limbo Monday as players continued to make deals to shake up the league landscape.

Players and teams began agreeing to terms on new deals Sunday even though no contracts can be signed until Saturday.

Leonard, who led the Toronto Raptors to the NBA title last month, was expected to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers plus the Raptors this week before making a decision on where to sign a new deal.

The Raptors are trying to keep together their championship squad while the Clippers, in Leonard’s hometown, have a similar young team that would offer him a starring role.

The Lakers, who have cleared enough salary cap space, to make a top offer for the two-time NBA Finals MVP, have a chance to form a super team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers were reportedly looking at D’Angelo Russell, who went to the Golden State Warriors for four years at $117 million after trading Andre Iguodala to Memphis.

In moves on Sunday, Philadelphia landed big man Al Horford from Boston and traded with Miami for Josh Richardson in a deal that cost it guard Jimmy Butler.

Milwaukee kept Khris Middleton, George Hill and Brook Lopez with new deals.

Elsewhere, Rui Hachimura, the No. 9 pick in the draft, finalized his rookie contract with the Washington Wizards, his agent said Monday.

Guard Makoto Hiejima, who played for the Tochigi Brex last season, will compete for the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA Summer League. Also Monday, Memphis’ Yuta Watanabe scored 20 points against Utah in the teams’ Summer League opener in Salt Lake City.