“A lot of people in the NBA” believe the star will leave Toronto and sign elsewhere this summer, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Wednesday.
The Raptors’ results in the postseason may not have an impact on Kawhi Leonard’s future.
“A lot of people in the NBA” believe the 27-year-old star will leave Toronto and sign elsewhere this summer, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Wednesday during an appearance on “The Jump.”
It’s not because of anything the Raptors did. It’s just that Kawhi kind of wants to be on the West Coast. The difficulty is that Kawhi doesn’t really articulate his feelings to people. … It’s difficult to read. It’s difficult for them to read, who have spent every day obsessing about it for months.
The Raptors acquired Leonard — along with Danny Green — from the Spurs in exchange for a package centered around DeMar DeRozan in a blockbuster trade last summer. Leonard can opt out of his contract and become a free agent after 2018-19.
Leonard averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his first season with Toronto. He shot 49.6 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from 3-point range.
Leonard has previously been linked to the Clippers and rival executives believe he “likes” the team, according to Bleacher Report. But, Leonard has been quiet about his free agency plans for most of the season.
“As long as I have on a jersey I want to play basketball,” Leonard told reporters in September. “I came here with an open mind. I want to do great things so I’m going to make sure that I put my full effort on the court each and every night.”
The Raptors finished with a 58-24 record and earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference. They topped the Magic 118-82 on Tuesday to even their first-round series at 1-1.
Toronto and Orlando will face off in Game 3 on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.