Raptors’ Masai Ujiri, Kawhi Leonard focusing on Warriors, not free agency
Masai Ujiri won’t stop to contemplate the future that awaits his Toronto Raptors this summer, with a major cog hanging in the balance of it all. Kawhi Leonard, the team’s leading scorer and best all-around defender, could part ways with the organization this summer upon declining his player option for 2019-20, but Ujiri isn’t worried yet about convincing Leonard to stay:
“The future conversations I’ve had with Kawhi are about the Golden State Warriors,’ said Ujiri on Wednesday’s NBA Finals media availability, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “His focus is on what is is in front of him. That’s his mindset.”
Ujiri isn’t saying anything to Leonard at this point in the season, considering he and the Raptors are four wins away from the organization’s first-ever title. Yet the executive’s best pitch could actually be a big piece of hardware at the end of this NBA season.
Not many teams can give a player the chance to win titles, and Leonard could well opt to stay in Toronto if Ujiri and company can manage to bring back this same core upon winning the championship.
An argument of reaching the NBA Finals is simply not the same as lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy at season’s end.
Ujiri knows some things are best left for the right time, and letting things run their course is the best choice he can make, hoping Leonard is completely zoned into the task ahead instead of his future destination.