Kawhi Leonard Likely Staying with Toronto Raptors, Per Report

Getty Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors reacts against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter during Game One of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on May 30, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

Just a night after Raptors’ first-ever NBA Finals contest (and win), a report from True Hoops is signaling that Kawhi Leonard could likely be returning to Toronto next season. Henry Abbott at True Hoops tweeted Friday: “Count on Kawhi returning to the Raptors, per TrueHoop sources.”

He continued: “Even before the Finals began, we at True Hoops heard from plugged-in sources associated with players and the league – but not the team – that Kawhi would return to the Toronto, at least on a short-term deal.”

Back in April, talks started to ramp up that general manager Masai Ujiri and Leonard were bound to be a package deal to either of the Los Angeles teams. The glimmer of hope in those reports was that if the Raptors were to make a deep run, there would be little incentive for the All-Star to leave Canada.

He is entering the last year of his contract if he re-ups with Toronto using his player option, and would earn over $21 million next season. He could reject the trade and make a max contract with another team, or wait until he’s an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

Up 1-0 over the 2-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, that confidence for Ujiri has to be rising that he’s going to be able to maintain a solid team where he is now.

This also comes in the wake of the tampering fine leveled at the Clippers after head coach Doc Rivers compared Leonard to Michael Jordan on ESPN Thursday night.

Stay tuned for more updates on this latest development.

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