Title: Kawhi Leonard waiting game something Raptors are willing to play if necessary
Date: July 1, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about why waiting on Kawhi Leonard is something the Raptors are built to do (and obviously quite happy to, anyway).
It was perfectly fitting for the Kawhi Leonard situation to remain quiet and unmoved amid the chaos of June 30.
The NBA shifted the start time of free agency a few hours to try to avoid the usual midnight flurry of signings negotiated within minutes that definitely didn’t occur because of tampering before the start of free agency, and the result was an even earlier jumping of the gun. Reports flew around all day, some even a full day before free agency officially opened, with team and agent sources apparently throwing any semblance of worry about league punishment out the window. By the time free agency actually opened, the landscape of the entire league had shifted. By the time the old start of free agency rolled around at midnight, those on the East Coast were still not offered the hoped reprieve of early slumber. The league was fundamentally unrecognizable, with dramatic twists and trades and non-trades adding complex layers to the fact that roughly 40 percent of roster spots were open league-wide to begin with.
And there was nearly radio silence on the Leonard front. The chaos of the day and Leonard’s response fit his game and his personality perfectly. He won’t be sped up. He is entirely unbothered by the dramatics of the NBA at large. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports even reported that Leonard took no meetings on the first day he could, though Magic Johnson reportedly spoke with Leonard and his uncle Dennis Robertson over the phone. There have been other, less reliable and usually conflicting reports. As usual, very few seem to know much of anything at all when it comes to Leonard’s thinking.