The Toronto Raptors are playing great and are likely to make a deep playoff run. Just like any other year for them. This year however, they are hoping to change their luck with the addition of Kawhi Leonard. Will Leonard resign with the Raptors or leave after his contract expires this year?
Let’s rewind back to how we got here. The short story is that it is all LeBron James’ fault. The long story is that the Raptors were fed up with losing to James every year so they changed up their roster. That change was trading DeMar Derozan for Leonard.
You see, Leonard was not happy with the San Antonio Spurs. After suffering an injury in the playoffs last year, Leonard believed that the Spurs rushed him to return and play. He injured himself a couple of games back from injury and he blamed the Spurs for that. There is some truth to that. San Antonio needed Leonard or they would have a bad playoff seed. That backfired and Leonard demanded a trade while rehabbing from injury.
So now that you are all caught up, we can continue. The Raptors have looked great this season with Leonard and even when Leonard doesn’t play, they still play well. The only problem is that Leonard’s contract expires after this season and he really wants to play for his home town; Los Angeles.
When the Raptors traded for Leonard, they knew he wanted to play for either Los Angeles team. Yet they still traded for him. They believed that they can convince him to resign with them. That is a huge gamble and may have no payday. And they can’t even blame Leonard because he clearly stated he wanted to play for L.A.
The only question remains is whether Leonard will resign with Toronto. He has had a good year there and they have a good young team. But we do not know what Leonard wants other than playing for Los Angeles. He doesn’t say much and that is totally fine. But it affects the Raptors future. He will make or break them.
I still think that the Raptors took a good risk. The only bad thing about the trade was that it was Leonard and not another star. Any other star would be more open to staying with the Raptors because they are a great team. Leonard might not. He has a bias and maybe nothing the Raptors could do would be enough to change his mind.
I think Leonard will not resign. While I think Leonard is a great player, I do not think he is believes in loyalty. And neither should he. If teams can screw players over, why can’t the players do the same? The only problem I have is my feelings for the Raptors. They are a great team with a great culture and I don’t want them to go into mediocrity when Leonard leaves. That was a risk the Raptors thought was worth taking. Let’s see how they react when their worst nightmares come true.