Kawhi Leonard’s first season with the Toronto Raptors is going just about as well as both parties could have hoped for. In 30 games this season, Leonard is averaging career-highs in points and rebounds with 27.3 and 8.2, respectively, while the Raptors are currently sitting near the top of the Eastern Conference with a 28-11 record.
The 27-year old forward is in the final year of his contract and although it has long been rumored he wants to return to Los Angeles, the Raptors have good reason to believe they can convince him to stay.
According to a report by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, league executives believe Kawhi’s free agency decision this Summer will come down to two teams – the Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers.
“The popular opinion among league executives six months before Leonard makes his decision is that he’ll choose between the Raptors and the Clippers. If it comes down to those two teams, the chance for Leonard to come home and to stay away from snow could be the Clippers’ strongest argument.”
Says Leonard of his new home (H/T ESPN), “But it’s just cold. You know, I came from California, and I moved to San Antonio, and there’s no snow in either city. It’s my first experience having Christmas with snow on the ground and just seeing snow throughout the year for the first time.”
The former Finals MVP will make his return to San Antonio for the first time Thursday night as the Spurs host the Raptors in the first game of TNT’s double-header. Tip-off is scheduled for 8pm ET.
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Author: Kyle Rooney