NBA Rumors: Kawhi Leonard Made It Impossible For Raptors To Keep Him
Kawhi Leonard continues to shock NBA fans with his surprise moves on and off the court although his recent exit with the Toronto Raptors was not one of the sweetest of departures. In fact, the word out is that the two-time NBA Finals MVP made it nearly impossible for the Raptors to re-sign him - sending off feelers that he was targeting the Los Angeles Clippers all along.
Seeing how he just led the Raptors to their first NBA title, the consensus by most is that he is more likely to stay in Toronto. The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers were initially seen as no more than suitors and that the 27-year-old was expected to stay on in what initially seemed like his new home. Apparently many though wrong and such sent shockwaves in the NBA world - all that is except for the Clippers. Leonard made his move official recently, NBA.com said.
For the Raptors, life goes on with the remaining players from last NBA season's title run. However, Josh Lewenberg of TSN shared some interesting revelations on Leonard and the Raptors - things that may not be pretty to hear. Per his report, Leonard allegedly made outrageous demands that one would not normally hear in standard contract negotiations. This included demands that even team president Masai Ujiri had no control of.
It was not detailed as to what exactly Leonard was asking for. However, the name of Paul George was inadvertently added to the mix. Leonard had allegedly requested the Raptors to look into possibly getting George into the fold even if there was really no talk about PG13 getting traded at the time. Somehow, all of this made sense when Leonard was reportedly all set to join the Clippers together with George.
Leonard is likely to draw his share of criticism once more, the same ones (if not worse) that he got when he left the San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers have suddenly become a team to contend with, seeing how a Leonard-George tandem can be lethal.
The Raptors remain formidable heading into the 2019-20 NBA season. The only void left is getting someone to step up and fill the shoes of Leonard. Right now, Kyle Lowry is seen as that guy unless Toronto suddenly pulls off a surprise deal of their own. Head coach Nick Nurse is expected to make necessary adjustments, meaning the Raptors are expected to go all out to defend their NBA title for the 2019-20 NBA season.