Kawhi Leonard is officially a member of the Toronto Raptors, but no now knows for how long.. It’s unclear whether or not he’s open to remaining in Toronto past the 2018-19 season. As of right now, most signs point to Leonard opting to head to Los Angeles as he originally wanted to join either the Lakers or the Clippers. One thing that has to be on the table, however, is a replay of the Paul George scenario with the Lakers and Thunder.
If, for some reason, the Raptors aren’t getting enough steam in getting Leonard to want to stay north of the border, the Raptors could opt to trade Leonard and get some kind of return for him. According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders and Bleacher Report, that trade can officially happen as soon as Leonard and the players involved in the trade clear their physicals.
Technically as soon as players clear physicals https://t.co/btkpaaej1T
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 18, 2018
So it’s clear that the Raptors will have the opportunity to trade Leonard in the near future. The idea that Leonard won’t be suiting up with Toronto on opening night is almost too absurd to ponder, but the NBA has a knack for keeping us on our toes.
The scenario that could facilitate another Leonard trade would likely come closer to the trade deadline. If things are not working out in Toronto, the Raptors may flip Leonard to a serious contender in an attempt to recoup some of their assets. They know it’s a longshot to keep him past next season and perhaps they’ll prioritize beginning the rebuild over a potential run in the playoffs.
Sahil Kurup ·
The trade appears to be a way for Toronto to compete for one more year before deciding whether or not a rebuild is in order. If they can convince Leonard to stay a la Paul George in OKC, they’ll be thrilled. But if that doesn’t appear likely, there’s no telling what the Raptors will do.
There are so many variables still in play here.