The Toronto Raptors recently won their first-ever NBA Championship and Kawhi Leonard was recently named 2019 NBA Finals MVP. The season is over and there have already been some huge moves announced, but more are likely on the way. As soon as the Raptors began celebrating their newly won championship, though, they began worrying if the player that helped bring it to them would even return to Toronto.
Kawhi Leonard is one of the best all-around players in the NBA and he is one of the most coveted free agents in this offseason. There have been plenty of rumors going around as to where he may land and some believe he has every reason to be happy with the Raptors.
Unfortunately for that organization, he may have been more than happy with just one year and an NBA Championship, as suggested by ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Some of the rumors floating around have the Los Angeles Lakers as the team that will make a run at Leonard in free agency, but that connection seems unlikely. What isn’t out of the question, though, is that Leonard still ends up in Los Angeles and that is because the Clippers have emerged as one of the frontrunners to sign him.
The good thing for them is that there is reportedly only one other team in the race. The bad thing is that it’s a team he is comfortable with and a system he has had great success with — the Toronto Raptors.
Kawhi Leonard’s free agency ‘will be a Raptors-Clippers’ fight’ (report) https://t.co/McaAa4bOwm— John Karalis ???????? (@RedsArmy_John) June 18, 2019
According to Wojnarowski, Kawhi Leonard is most likely to sign with either the Raptors or Clippers this offseason. There have been so many people thinking that he’s going to head out west to join LeBron James and the newly acquired Anthony Davis, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
“Kawhi Leonard’s focus [is] on Los Angeles, but it’s the Clippers, not the Lakers.”
Wojnarowski says that it isn’t very appealing to Leonard to be a “third wheel” on a team that is trying to create a super-team. On top of that, the Lakers simply don’t have the maximum amount of money needed to lure in a player like Leonard.
The 2019 NBA free agency chaos will officially begin at 6 p.m. on June 30, and it’s going to be a wild one. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors are both seriously injured, but they’re also two of the biggest names of the market. Throw in Kawhi Leonard along with a host of others, and fans of the NBA are in for a very bumpy ride starting in just a couple of weeks.