The Kawhi Leonard saga took an interesting — and rather unexpected — turn Thursday when the Toronto Raptors suddenly emerged as even money favorites at one online sportsbook to land the San Antonio Spurs forward.
Several teams have been linked to Leonard in trade rumors this offseason, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. The Raptors chatter seemingly came out of nowhere.
Perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into this latest development, though. FS1’s Nick Wright explained Friday on “First Things First” that online sportsbooks sometimes tweak their odds in an effort to gain attention, while Cris Carter reported that nothing has changed in the Leonard sweepstakes.
Leonard still wants to be traded to Los Angeles, according to Carter, who added that neither the Spurs nor any other team reached out to the two-time All-Star after Thursday’s odds shift, suggesting a trade wasn’t imminent.
Carter also said Friday that Leonard, a free agent after next season, still isn’t interested in being rented out for one year.
Leonard was limited to just nine games last season due to an injury that reportedly caused a rift with the Spurs. It’s been a weird situation and his looming free agency only complicates the trade process, as teams simply don’t know whether he’ll commit to signing a long-term contract extension.
All told, Leonard is one of the best two-way players in the NBA when healthy, which would explain why every little development is going to be analyzed like crazy.
Thumbnail photo via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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