Person close to Kawhi Leonard predicts he won’t leave Toronto
Kawhi Leonard is said to be intent on signing with the Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer, but that didn’t stop the Raptors from giving up their best player to acquire him via trade. One person close to the star forward thinks Toronto’s risk will pay off in a big way.
A person close to Leonard told Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he believes Kawhi will fall in love with Toronto and end up re-signing next summer. Zeigler described the source as “someone who knows Leonard as well as anybody.”
“He’s going to fall in love with Toronto – it’s going to happen,” the source reportedly said. “He’s not going to leave, I’m telling you.”
Zeigler lists a number of reasons why Leonard might actually enjoy his time with the Raptors, despite the early reports that he has “no desire” to play for them. Danny Green was one of Leonard’s closest friends from the Spurs, and he was part of the trade that sent Leonard to Toronto. Raptors fans are passionate and their front office is one of the few that works to help players secure endorsement opportunities.
There are other factors that seem unlikely to influence Leonard’s decision, such as the fact that he is a fan of rapper Drake, who is the most well-known Raptors fan. That probably won’t hurt, but the Lakers are the best team for Leonard if he puts weight into stuff like that.
For what it’s worth, a recent report indicated the Lakers are not the only team Leonard is considering signing with next summer. As we saw with Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder, a lot can change over the course of a season. Still, the two situations are a lot different. As of now, it seems like it would take a miracle for the Raptors to sign Leonard long-term.