We have touched on the impending free agency of Kevin Durant. Let’s turn our attention to the defending 2-time NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi will turn 28-years-old soon and will be entering his prime. After a tumultuous year with the Spurs, Leonard was traded to Toronto along with Danny Green. This past regular season, Kawhi missed 22 games due to workload management. Leonard have stated that the way Toronto handled his situation is the reason he was so effective in the playoffs. Throughout the playoffs, Kawhi scored at will and defended the other team’s best player. In the end, Leonard lead the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first championship. It has been reported that he’ll take meetings with several teams. The big question now is, where will Kawhi Leonard sign when free agency begins Sunday evening?
The Raptors are coming off their first NBA Championship. It seems like he’s developed a great chemistry with Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka. The entire country loves the guy and you can say he’s the most famous athlete in the entire country. The Raptors organization have put great young pieces like Pascal Siakim around him. In the Eastern Conference, they have a team that’s built to win for years. With Kyle Lowry getting up there in age, the Raptors already have his replacement in Fred VanVleet. Once again, the training staff is top-notched, and Leonard have credited them with his recovery from last year’s injury. Why wouldn’t he want to stay in Toronto? Will he resign with Toronto? Whether it’s a short or long term deal, will he return to the Raptors?
Los Angeles Clippers
Ever since Kawhi was traded to Toronto, many thought it was a one year rental. Kawhi Leonard grew up in Southern California and billboards have already popped up. With Lebron teaming with Anthony Davis on the Lakers, the Clippers want to make a splash. Los Angeles have a great, young nucleus and one that made the playoffs last season. The Clippers have a talented, young team and one of the better coaches in the league in Doc Rivers. Just imagine in the city of Los Angeles having Lebron and Anthony Davis on one side and Kawhi on the other. If Kawhi were to sign with the Clippers, they probably would be in position to sign another big name.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are slowly building a nice young squad. In the NBA Draft, they drafted R.J. Barrett and they’re hoping to build from that. A few years ago, the Knicks didn’t have any money but now they have tons to sign top talent. The Knicks have a great coach and the front office have the team moving in the right direction. Kawhi have said that the Knicks is one of the teams he’ll meet with. If the Knicks were able to sign Kawhi, this would be huge for the franchise. The big question is, would Kawhi leave a great situation in Toronto to go to New York and help build them up?
Coming into free agency, Brooklyn have been rumored to sign Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. While the Nets focus have been rumored to be around Irving and Durant, if Kawhi wanted to come that’s a good problem to have. Brooklyn made the playoffs last season and they have a great foundation to build upon. D’Angelo Russell was a huge part of that and most likely he’ll be gone when free agency starts. Brooklyn continues to move in the right direction and clear cap space. While everyone is talking about Los Angeles; New York could be great also. New York City and Brooklyn could land some big free agents, and both will target Kawhi. Can the Nets find a way to land Kawhi Leonard?
The final team that Kawhi is rumored to talk to is the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers were in the running for Kawhi last season. Philadelphia went in another direction when they thought he’d sign with the Clippers the following season. The 76ers ended up trading for Jimmy Butler. It’s rumored that Jimmy Butler could return, but if they could land Kawhi then Butler would be an afterthought. Could you see Kawhi go to the team he beat on an epic buzzer beater to close out the series?
Where do you see Kawhi Leonard playing next season? Where would you like to see him play next year? There have been rumors that he could consider the Lakers also. Leave some feedback below about anything related to Kawhi Leonard and his impending free agency.