For a while, it was assumed Kawhi Leonard would just play out this past season with the Toronto Raptors, then head to Los Angeles.
While that still very much could happen, it no longer sounds like a guarantee.
Leonard all but certainly will opt out of the final year of his contract and sign a new deal. The Raptors winning the NBA Finals this year has prompted many to wonder if he’ll remain in Canada, and among those of that belief is ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst.
During an appearance Thursday on “Get Up!,” Windhorst said he thinks Leonard will go back to the Raptors on a short-term deal. However, Windhorst offered that prediction with the caveat there are two teams he thinks will get some consideration from the star forward.
“I believe that Kawhi will give the (New York) Knicks a look, but I think his decision is going to be staying with the Raptors, likely on — what I think is — on a short deal,” Windhorst said. “A one-plus-one deal that will let them roll it back, they can bring their whole team back. Or, (he might) look at the L.A. Clippers where he could invest in going forward.”
Leonard is going to have options, as he’s one of the biggest names that will be on the open market. But for a guy who has some injury history, it seems like just taking a one-plus-one deal could be a little risky financially.
That said, Leonard reminded people this season just how valuable he is, so he deservedly will be able to dictate where he goes next and for how long.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images