Riding the wave of a first ever NBA title following Thursday night’s win over the Golden State Warriors, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors are now facing an interesting summer.
Leonard is set to hit free agency once the market opens in March. Ever since the reigning NBA Finals MVP was acquired in a trade from the Spurs prior to the season, suggestions were that Leonard would be one-and-done in Canada.
We’re not 100 percent sure how the Raptors’ improbable run to the title might impact things. But if we were to ask teammate Danny Green, it could play a role in Leonard’s decision-making process.
“I think if we would’ve lost earlier before this series or whatever, I think it would’ve been an easier decision for him,” Green told The Athletic’s Sam Amick. “I think now it makes it a little harder knowing that this organization and this team is very capable of doing what we’re doing now, of getting to this stage and possibly winning one. …Also, the relationships he’s built here.”
More than any other member of the Raptors, Green might very well know Leonard’s decision-making process. The two were teammates in San Antonio for seven seasons before being shipped off to Toronto together one year ago next month.
Leonard captivated an entire nation as he led Toronto to its first ever NBA title. Will that be enough for him to turn down the bright lights of Los Angeles or New York? This remains to be seen.
Regardless, Green feels that Leonard doesn’t owe the city or organization anything.
“You bring a championship to this country, man – not just this city, but this country and this organization – within one year, that’s legendary type stuff,” Green continued.”Regardless of what he does, he did his job.”
Free agency opens up in just over two weeks. Leonard will have a decision to make on that front. For now, the Clippers appear favored to land his services.