The Raptors have a good chance to keep their star.
The 27-year-old star will decline his $21.3 million player option for 2019-20, according to a report from Yahoo Sports, which cites unidentified league sources.
Leonard, however, is “seriously considering re-signing” with the Raptors and they’re viewed as the “favorite to land” him, the report says.
Leonard almost singlehandedly carried the Raptors to their first title in franchise history this season. He averaged 30.5 points in the playoffs, was named the Finals MVP and helped the team avoid elimination by knocking down a crazy bouncing buzzer beater in the fourth quarter of Game 7 against the 76ers in the second round.
KAWHI CALLED SERIES! pic.twitter.com/V4AIuMULNO
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 13, 2019
Toronto acquired Leonard, along with Danny Green, in a blockbuster trade with the Spurs last summer.
“I don’t know the percentage (of chance that Leonard stays),” Green said recently, via Sportsnet. “But I think it’s a higher percentage for him to be here than to leave.
“The city, the fans have done their job, the organization’s done their job. It’s going to be a hard place (for Leonard) to turn down. (You) have a great team and have a city, people, fans that love you and are willing to give you almost everything. … They give you everything, the world, and then some.”
Leonard has been linked to the Clippers, Knicks and Lakers, amongst others. He could have a “handful” of meetings this summer, according to Yahoo Sports, but the Raptors are the only team that can offer Leonard a full max contract.
Leonard may also consider signing a short-term deal with Toronto, according to the New York Times.