RUMOR: Raptors’ chances of keeping Kawhi Leonard ‘fading’ as Finals MVP leans on return to LA
It seems more and more likely that Kawhi Leonard won’t return to the Toronto Raptors.
Leonard has been reportedly leaning on a return to Southern California and join any of his hometown teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers. FOX Sports analyst Chris Broussard doubled down on the speculation and claimed that the Raptors’ hopes of re-signing the 2019 Finals MVP is fading because Kawhi is raring to go back home.
Hearing Raptors chances of keeping Kawhi are fading. A return to SoCal – either team – getting more and more likely.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 29, 2019
Leonard led the team to their first-ever championship, helping the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals.
While Kawhi was previously viewed as a one-year rental when the Raptors traded for him with the San Antonio Spurs last summer, Toronto’s hopes of retaining him increased when they won the title. In fact, previous reports claim that he could sign a short-term deal with the team and help them defend the title next season.
However, that’s no longer the case as free agency looms. The Lakers and Clippers are reportedly strong contenders to lure Leonard away from Canada, with the Purple and Gold even considered as likely frontrunners to land him. The New York Knicks are also rumored to be in the mix to get the three-time NBA All-Star.