Star small forward Kawhi Leonard will be open-minded about re-signing with the Toronto Raptors, according to a report from Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
Leonard can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 if he declines his 2019-20 player option and many believe the two-time All-Star has his heart set on joining the Los Angeles Lakers or Clippers.
The Raptors can offer Leonard almost $50 million more than any other team in 2019, including a fifth year. Jabari Young, a writer for the San Antonio Express-News, relayed a similar message in August. It’s important to note that Young, a well-respected columnist, covered Leonard in San Antonio. The two have maintained a professional relationship and Leonard has always been fond of Young.
“Based off of me talking to people within his circle, they’re going to go into this thing with an open mind and give this thing every last opportunity to work,” Young said on the TSN OverDrive podcast. “And at the end of the day, if that’s the case, then it would be great if he stays. Obviously, I think part of his mind, yes, let’s keep real: I think he still feels like L.A. might be the destination. At the same time, he plans to go into this thing with an open mind, giving it every single shot in the world to make it work.”
Kawhi Leonard is 100 percent and has been killing it during his offseason workouts. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year only played in nine games last season due to a lingering quadriceps injury. The San Antonio Spurs traded Leonard to the Raptors this summer after Leonard requested a trade.
With LeBron James in the Western Conference now, the East is wide-open and Leonard and the Raptors have a great shot at making it to the NBA Finals. Toronto had the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season and is essentially replacing DeMar DeRozan with Leonard.
Leonard has career averages of 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 407 games. He was the 2014 Finals MVP and is recognized as the best two-way player in the league when healthy.