Rumors suggesting that Kawhi Leonard will merely be a one-year rental for the Toronto Raptors are still running rampant, as many still expect the former San Antonio Spurs forward to sign with a Los Angeles team — either the Lakers or the Clippers — once his player option comes up next summer. However, there are others who feel optimistic about Leonard’s chances of staying in Canada and re-signing with the Raptors after the 2018-19 season, and those people include Danny Green, who, together with Leonard, was traded in July from San Antonio to Toronto in a deal that sent DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs.
In a recent episode of his Inside the Green Room podcast, Green said that he’s been happy so far since getting traded to the Raptors after playing the last eight seasons in San Antonio. As transcribed by The Score, Green believes Leonard, who had spent his entire seven-season NBA career with the Spurs prior to the trade, will also enjoy it in Toronto and might find it hard to leave the Raptors for another team if the opportunity arises.
“I don’t know where his mind is at for the future. I can’t predict or tell you. I can just tell you that the city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there,” said Green.
“I’ve been going every summer for the past 10-plus years. It’s a great city and the fans are amazing.
“The last couple weeks, just going up for a couple days here and there and how they’ve shown me so much love. As a Raptor now, I’m so much more well known there and getting a great amount of feedback, a great amount of love and all types of different stuff from the fans. So it’s gonna be tough for him to turn down.”
Danny Green thinks Kawhi Leonard is going to have a hard time leaving Toronto.https://t.co/TuL9gAtXUM
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 12, 2018
Green’s comments came shortly after reports suggested Kawhi Leonard purchased a new home in Toronto, raising speculation among fans that he could be planning to re-sign with the Raptors after the 2018-19 NBA season. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, many saw this as counterintuitive to the usual actions of someone doubting their long-term future with a major league sports team, as such players usually rent houses instead of buying a new one after being traded to a new team.
After winning the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, Kawhi Leonard posted career-high numbers in scoring in 2016-17, averaging 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 steals and making his second straight All-Star Game appearance. However, he saw those numbers drop to just 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game in 2017-18 as he played in only nine games and has frequently been rumored to be at odds with Spurs management.