Kawhi Leonard’s Free Agency Creates Helicopter Chase in Toronto

Getty Kawhi Leonard hit the open market when NBA free agency started on June 30.

The free agency saga of Kawhi Leonard is dominating the sports world. After taking his meetings in Los Angeles with the Lakers and Clippers, Kawhi returned back to Toronto for his final meeting. Once Toronto pitches Leonard, all that is left is for the Finals MVP to finally make his decision on where he wants to sign in free agency.

Upon landing in Toronto, Leonard was greeted with CONSIDERABLE fanfare, to the point where news helicopters were flying overhead tracking him on the way to his meeting with the Raptors.

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Kawhi Leonard’s Free Agency Creates Helicopter Chase in Toronto

Toronto has more or less turned into a mob scene in an effort to try and convince Kawhi Leonard to stay. While a nice gesture, Kawhi is a notoriously private man and PROBABLY would prefer to do his free agency dealings in silence without any fanfare.

To their credit, Toronto has quite a bit riding on the return of Kawhi Leonard as if he walks, they are more or less left out in the cold in free agency. With most of the market dried up, the Raptors would be looking to try and fill out a roster that actually performed fairly well without Leonard. However, without their Finals MVP they simply don’t have the firepower to hang with the top teams in a seven-game series.

If Kawhi goes, expect the Raptors to start a massive tear-down of the roster as they try and rebuild in the wake of losing the man they hoped to convince to be their franchise cornerstone. Look for Kyle Lowry to be shipped off for assets as well as Serge Ibaka. Pascal Siakam is young enough to the point where they would probably prefer to keep him alongside Fred Van Fleet to build around for the future.

Lakers Kawhi Leonard Free Agency Fit

While not much is known about the pitch meetings or Kawhi’s time in Los Angeles, we do know that he initially asked to be traded to Los Angeles from the Spurs. While the Clippers are also in the running, Kawhi would probably prefer to play alongside a secondary star in order to help lighten the workload that he has to take on. Being the backbone of the Raptors took a considerable toll on his body last offseason and Kawhi likely is thinking he would prefer a bit more help moving forward.

Enter the Lakers, who already have LeBron James and Anthony Davis in place. With LeBron reportedly open to taking a backseat and playing the role of facilitator to Davis and Leonard, Kawhi would be surrounded by talent and could effectively manage his workload even through the playoffs. While the Lakers lack the depth that Toronto has in place, the trio of stars is so dominant that by having at least one on the floor at all times, the Lakers should hold a considerable advantage.

READ NEXT: Lakers Free Agency: Kawhi Leonard Chances Improve the Longer He Waits

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