Kawhi Leonard to decline 2019-20 player option, seriously considering re-signing with Raptors
Kawhi Leonard, as expected, will decline his 2019-20 player option with the Toronto Raptors and will enter free agency. However, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, he is “seriously considering re-signing” with the reigning NBA Champions.
Leonard has a $21.3 million option for next season. Nonetheless, he is expected to command the max contract in the free agency market. The Raptors, though, are the only team who could offer Kawhi a five-year deal worth $190 million.
The decision of Leonard to opt out did not come as surprise to many, as he was actually viewed as a one-year rental for Toronto when they traded for him last summer. However, the Raptors have placed themselves in a good position to keep the two-time NBA Finals MVP in the long run.
Rival executives believe that the Raptors are now the favorites in the race to sign Leonard this summer. Toronto boosted their chances after defeating the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals.
While Leonard remains non-committal about his future, the Raptors have reportedly given the superstar a lot of reasons to trust the franchise.
Aside from the Raptors, the Los Angeles Clippers are being mentioned as favorites to acquire the 27-year-old this summer. Previous reports indicated that the former San Diego State standout — who is a Los Angeles native — is thrilled with the idea of playing for his hometown team.