Redditor's Crackpot Scheme to Get Kawhi to Lakers: Enter Canada Illegally
All he has to do is get arrested—he won't be charged. But he will be banned from re-entering the country.
Photo by Larry W. Smith—EPA
Clearly, this is a fraught time in international politics. Giant shifts in allegiances, foes becoming friends, secret backdoor dealings... shit, you know what? Kinda sounds like the NBA trade season, when you come to think of it.
Clearly one Redditor had both on the brain when he cooked up a madcap scheme to get Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles, in time to play "most of the season" for his preferred Lakers: enter Canada illegally, lie about wanting asylum, get arrested and sent back to the US. It's literally that easy.
After the San Antonio Spurs sent Kawhi to the Toronto Raptors—much to his chagrin— Redditor r/TheThunderbird decided to come up with his big-time escape route. Just take a look at this:
A few things here. First, there is not a whole lot of difference between this plan, and the plan Kawhi executed last year with the Spurs—wherein he made clear to the Spurs he would not be playing for the team and sat out essentially the whole season—both result in the Raptors being forced to choose what to do with a disgruntled employee. The one difference here, though, is that Kawhi faces being arrested in a foreign country. So, pick your poison, I guess?
"Now, if they sever his contract, I'm not sure whether they retain his rights or not but they certainly won't be interested in re-signing him. After some period of no contract being tendered, I assume he becomes a free agent and can sign with LA."
The Raptors can sever the contract, but they would have to buy him out. So, they just unloaded DeRozan and some cash for...Danny Green? At which point Kawhi will enter waivers where any team could pick him up for the remainder of his contract and nothing else. Maybe no one will do that, maybe everyone will try to do that. Can't really be sure on that one.
Oh! this also includes the caveat that Kawhi can somehow credibly argue that entering Canada illegally—a place he expressed exactly zero desire in playing—falsely claiming asylum, and getting arrested, were all good faith actions.
So, sure, there are some drawbacks. Everyone might also hate how petty Kawhi has been throughout this whole process, getting him blacklisted in locker rooms. But if it somehow gets the man what he wants, then why not? Plus, if he's signed with a Western Conference team (Lakers), they'll only play Toronto away once, meaning he'll just sit out one game. He'd just have to pray that there are no Canadian expansion franchises in the near future. Or that there isn't a military draft any time soon.
The scheme has gotten over 10,000 upvotes and even has conspiracy theories built in on top of it—namely that Magic is the masterminding uncle many feel is central to the fracture between Kawhi and the Spurs. Theories upon theories. This one has legs, eh?
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