The Clippers entered the season as frontrunner to sign Kawhi Leonard. They’ve put in a lot of work and consideration throughout the year, even getting fined for tampering. They appear as intent as ever on luring Leonard.
But on their way to a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals, the Raptors have closed the gap.
Has Toronto even overtaken L.A.?
There are also plenty of people who believe Leonard is bound for the Clippers. A lot of it is speculation. Do TrueHoop’s sources have more concrete information? Maybe. That’s what makes this so intriguing. But it still appears to be second-hand.
At the very minimum, the Raptors are making a great case for Leonard to re-sign. They deftly rested him throughout the season, helping to keep him healthy. They gave him a supporting cast so good, he led it to the Finals. How many other teams – Clippers included – will offer a co-star as with as bright a future as Pascal Siakam? And of course, Toronto can offer more money – a projected $190 million over five years vs. the projected $141 million over four years he could get from other teams.
I don’t know whether Leonard has made up his mind. He’s obviously focused on the NBA Finals.
But add this rumor to the circumstantial evidence pointing toward a return to the Raptors.
Of course, there are also plenty of signs indicating he’ll leave. There’s plenty to weight on both sides, and we probably won’t learn a clear resolution until July.