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Raptors’ Kyle Lowry won’t recruit Kawhi Leonard in free agency

Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Raptors

Newly crowned NBA champion Kyle Lowry won’t try to make a compelling case for teammate Kawhi Leonard to stay with the Toronto Raptors this summer. Lowry and company have given him perhaps the greatest single reason to stay after winning an NBA title earlier this month. The rest is solely on Leonard, as Lowry puts it:

“I want him to stay,” Lowry told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “I’d love him to stay. But he’s my friend. And I always say this in this business, you don’t have that much choice in happiness sometimes. You have to make yourself happy. You have to be able to wake up every day and be happy with what your decision in life is, and that’s why I never recruit. I never say like, ‘Listen, yeah, I want you back. Come on back. Let’s continue to be teammates. But if you choose to do something different, I’ll support you.’”

“Free agency is where you make a decision. And if he chooses to do whatever he chooses to do, I swear I’d be happy for him. I have no idea what he’s going to do. All I know is that he’s happy right now, and he’s a fun guy.”

The city of Toronto has overwhelmed Leonard, as they wasted no time begging the man to stay with the organization, even before the Raptors lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

The Raptors do want Leonard to be part of the long-term construct of this team, yet some decisions escape basketball, and there is a reason why free agency has the “free” in it.

Kawhi is free to choose his next destination, no matter how Lowry or the rest of Toronto feel about it.