Danny Green believes Kawhi Leonard will want to feel Toronto’s warmth for years to come.
The Toronto Raptors guard said Tuesday on his “Inside the Green Room” podcast his superstar teammate will love playing in the Canadian metropolis so much, he’ll find it “hard to turn down” next summer when he becomes a free agent. The Raptors are preparing for a season in which one of their top priorities will be convincing Leonard to sign a long-term contract extension, instead of bolting for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers, as many expect him to do.
“I don’t know where his mind is at for the future,” Green said, per The Score’s Wael Saghir. “I can’t predict or tell you. I can just tell you that the city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there. I’ve been going every summer for the past 10-plus years. It’s a great city and the fans are amazing.”
The Raptors in July acquired Leonard and Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Green’s experiences in Toronto have been more positive than ever now that he represents the city and he doesn’t doubt Leonard will enjoy a similar feeling.
“The last couple weeks, just going up for a couple days here and there and how they’ve shown me so much love,” Green says. “As a Raptor now, I’m so much more well known there and getting a great amount of feedback, a great amount of love and all types of different stuff from the fans. So it’s gonna be tough for him to turn down.”
Leonard will encounter such hard sells inside and outside the Raptors organization. While those perks might factor into his decision, the Raptors’ on-court fortunes likely will determine his fate in Toronto more than anything else.
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