Title: Evaluating the threat of Kawhi Leonard suitors and how each destination could affect the Raptors
Date: June 30, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I looked at the buzziest potential Kawhi Leonard destinations and what each could mean for the Raptors.
Kawhi Leonard might leave the Toronto Raptors in the coming days.
This is a reality that everyone should have been preparing for since the moment the Raptors traded for him nearly a year ago. No matter how well things went in Toronto, Leonard has earned the right to explore his options, see what other situations have to offer and choose where he’ll work for the next one to five years (at least).
As we’ve discussed plenty, the Raptors checked off basically every box they could — emphatically. It feels like it would be a bit odd for Leonard to walk away from a medical staff he’s built trust with, a core he won a championship with and the team that can offer him the most money, either long-term or with a bridge deal to a larger contract later. On paper, Toronto is the best financial situation, and its medical situation is at least better than the unknowns in other organizations. There are concerns in Toronto, namely about an aging core’s ability to repeat in a tough Eastern Conference with little cap flexibility in 2019-20, but the Raptors also have the same flexibility other locales are boasting from 2020 onward. Instances of a superstar leaving a great situation are rare. They are not impossible.