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Fred VanVleet says if Kawhi Leonard leaves for another team, Raptors will just have to ‘kick his a**”

Fred VanVleet, Kawhi Leonard, Raptors

The Toronto Raptors winning their first NBA championship and dethroning the Golden State Warriors was enough of a story heading into the summer of 2019.

And yet, the level of intrigue surrounding Kawhi Leonard’s future simply would not be put on hold. ESPN reporter Doris Burke asked Leonard what he plans to do regarding his future during the presentation of the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award, and SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt followed by asking that same question later in the evening.

Although it seems wholly premature to speculate on Leonard’s future immediately following the second NBA title of his career, those questions are not without reason.

Leonard embarked on one of the greatest postseason runs in NBA history in 2019. In 24 playoff games, Leonard averaged 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals on 49 percent shooting from the field — playing over 39 minutes per game to boot.

Commonly held thought prior to the start of the regular season (and even around the All-Star break) was that Toronto would merely prove to be a layover for Leonard, and that he would sign with a big-market team in the summer.

However, the dynamic has changed considerably. Not only did Leonard lead the Raptors to an NBA title, but the landscape of the NBA has changed following the injuries sustained by Golden State Warriors stars  Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, as well as the most recent trade sending Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Just in case Leonard is thinking of leaving, however, Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet has a message for him.

VanVleet’s words are all in good fun, but Leonard’s decision is sure to have a drastic impact on the rest of the NBA.