Kawhi Leonard is in high demand and after his performance this season and the playoffs, that is even more true now than before. While many teams will love to sign Leonard next season, his choices have been narrowed down to the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 30 teams that won’t have a chance to land Leonard will be disappointed but they will also thank Leonard for not wasting their time. Instead, they can focus on other players and have some valuable time. I do expect the Los Angeles Lakers to try to still convince Leonard to sign with them even though it seems hopeless. The only thing more hopeless than that seems to be the Lakers chances of landing another superstar.
Yes, another player has decided that he would not play for the Lakers. That seems to be the norm at this point and we are wondering if there is any superstar willing to join the Lakers. Leonard doesn’t want to play for the Lakers and LeBron James is partly the reason. Other stars don’t want to team up with him and the current mess that is the Lakers doesn’t help.
We will see the Raptors and the Clippers battle it out and it should be an interesting battle to watch. The Raptors have the advantage of having Leonard for a year and getting to bond with them. The Clippers however have the better roster and a higher ceiling than the Raptors. They can sign another superstar player besides Leonard and the crazy thing is that the current Clippers team is really good as they are now.
If the Raptors lose out on Leonard, nobody would blame them. Leonard has said he wants to play in Los Angeles and that meant that the Raptors were fighting an uphill battle. If Leonard does leave, expect a lot of backlash from fans. The Raptors traded DeMar DeRozan for Leonard who only had a year left on his contract and strongly stated that he would only resign with a Los Angeles team.
If the Raptors somehow do end up resigning Leonard, then they will be regarded as geniuses for years to come. People will get promoted and Canada will be very happy. I think the gamble was a good one for Toronto because they didn’t just stand there and do nothing. They went out and made changes so they could change the outcome from their previous playoffs.
Leonard is focused on the playoffs and won’t give this much thought until the playoffs are over. Until then, let’s enjoy Leonard and the fantastic basketball he is playing. We don’t see a player dominate like this and it is easy to see why teams are desperate to land Leonard.