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Cris Carter says Raptors are the favorite among 5 teams to get Kawhi Leonard

Raptors, Kawhi Leonard

The Toronto Raptors have made the best possible case to keep Kawhi Leonard in free agency after wining their first-ever NBA title last week and dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

According to Cris Carter of Fox Sports 1, the Raptors are now the favorites to get Leonard in free agency, among four other suitors in the Los Angeles Lakers, the L.A. Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.

“As far as free agency goes… you have to say Toronto, that they are the favorite,” said Carter of First Things First. “They can also pay him the most. The doctors that he had working with him, their collaboration with the doctors from the Raptors. The load management situation where he missed 22 games during the regular season. How it played out, where he played through all the pain in the playoffs, having one of the greatest playoff runs that we have ever seen.”

“The Raptors are the favorites and then it’s gonna go like this —in no order— both teams in New York: that being the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. They will both get sit-down interviews with Kawhi. Also the Los Angeles Lakers will be a part of the discussion. Yes, he will sit down with them and the Clippers. So Clippers, Lakers, Nets, Knicks and the Raptors — those are the five teams that will be involved in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes.”

The Lakers’ recent acquisition of Anthony Davis likely makes them a last-resort choice, given that spacing in the frontcourt would prove tough at his natural small forward position.

Leonard has been tied to the Clippers for most of the 2018-19 regular season and are likely right behind the Raptors in terms of a favorite landing spot, but the other three teams are ones with cap space that could make a play for the superstar forward.