Favouring Toronto?

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Leonard Opts Out of Player Option, Raptors are Favourites

The expected became official yesterday.

According to Chris Hayes of Yahoo! Sports, Kawhi Leonard has opted out of the final year of his contract, entering unrestricted free agency. Declining his $21.3-million player option allows him to sign a max contract which would be worth up to $190-million over five years if he remains in Toronto.

According to Haynes, the Raptors are currently positioned as the favourites to re-sign the Finals MVP who can sign the max or even choose to sign a Kevin Durant-like 1-and-1 contract worth $70-million with the second year being a player’s option. If he is to sign on for the latter, he will be eligible to sign for the super max after he reaches 10 years of NBA service time.

While the Raptors are locked on bringing back their superstar forward, the Los Angeles Clippers are upping their recruiting efforts as a couple of billboard signs have come up in SoCal.

Reports claim that Leonard will ultimately decide between the Clippers and the Raptors, but he is open to have meetings with up to four or five teams.

Two teams that are unlikely to secure meetings with The Klaw are the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers who opted to bow out of the Leonard sweepstakes last year after the overall consensus that Leonard is ultimately looking to return to Los Angeles in free agency.

What a difference a year makes.

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