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Kendrick Perkins doesn’t see Kawhi Leonard leaving Raptors

Kendrick Perkins, Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is set to be a free agent this summer, but after winning a championship and a Finals MVP in his first season with the Toronto Raptors, it would certainly take a lot for him to leave.

Former NBA player Kendrick Perkins does not see Leonard going elsewhere this offseason, pointing out on ESPN’s “First Take” that he has “a whole country behind him” as a member of the Raptors.

Perkins makes a very good point.

Had Leonard lost the NBA Finals, it would have been much easier to imagine him signing with another team in July. But after winning a title in his first season with the club? How do you walk away from that?

Of course, Leonard grew up in California, so there has always been a general assumption that he would end up heading out to Hollywood to play for either the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers.

Plus, Leonard has already won a couple of championships (he also won one with the San Antonio Spurs back in 2014), so he might be reaching a point where he just wants to play close to home.

Also, the Raptors’ core isn’t exactly young outside of Pascal Siakam, as Kyle Lowry is 33 years old and Marc Gasol is 34 and could become a free agent this summer if he declines his player option.

But still, even with all of that, will Leonard really leave the franchise with whom he just won a title?

It seems hard to fathom, but I guess we’ll find out in a couple of weeks.