Despite Fresh Start, Leonard’s Future with Raptors Remains Under Question
In his Toronto Raptors debut, Kawhi Leonard gave the NBA world a small sense of what kind of player he is.
Soon enough, he will return to the player he once was prior to his injury plagued 2017-18 campaign. That being said, although his start with the Raptors went according to plan, his future with the team remains under question. As he plays out the final year of his contract, a potential move to his home state of California remains very much on the forefront of the NBA rumour mill.
“What the (Los Angeles) Clippers are doing right now is very below the radar,” said Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast. “What they’ve done to put themselves in position. They didn’t gut themselves and they’re not tanking. They’re putting a competitive team on the floor.
“I think, right now, with Kawhi Leonard, they have a better than no chance of getting him. We know things will change. He could love Toronto.”
The Clippers will have two max contract spots available for the upcoming offseason. Of course, if the Raptors are able to reach the NBA Finals, maybe, the team will be able to convince Leonard to remain on board long-term.
“The Clippers are in great position with (Leonard),” said Wojnarowski. “They have two max slots. They will be heard from again, I think, in these Jimmy Butler trade talks.”
Meanwhile, Leonard is simply focusing on this season and remaining healthy. In his Raptors debut, Leonard poured in 24 points, helping lead his new team to a victory over the arch-rivals Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I felt good,” said Leonard. “I’m happy we came out and got a win, and I came out of the game healthy, so it’s a win-win for me. It’s still early. It’s only the first game. We had a lot of mistakes on the defensive end that we can correct. Our offense was also stagnant sometimes tonight. But our skill level and focus and us playing very hard tonight got us the win.”
The never-ending line of questions will continue to surround the Raptors and Leonard for the remainder of the season. The only thing that this team can control is how they play on a night-to-night basis.