Raptors fans caught wind of an exciting rumour that Kawhi Leonard, one of the most formidable small forwards in the NBA, might be looking to stay in the 6ix for longer than initially expected. According to TSN’s Josh Lewenberg, the Raptors have grown confident that they will be able to re-sign Kawhi Leonard during 2019 offseason.
The reason for their confidence? They believe that the contract they will be offering him is the strongest. "Trust, familiarity, a commitment to maintaining his health and the shared goal of chasing a championship, as well as the extra year and contract worth nearly $50 million more than anyone else can offer," explained Lewenberg.
Both the Lakers and the Clippers are expected to make the 27-year-old superstar some pretty substantial offers if he chooses to decline his $21.3 million option and become a free agent in July. But it is the Raptors who will be making him an offer built on trust.
Ever since Leonard walked out on to the court in Raptors red, fans have shown him love, even going as far as to give the player a standing ovation during his first game. The admiration Leonard received since arriving in the city has not been lost on the player, who seemed genuinely touched by the support during his first interview with the team:
Even if Leonard despised playing with the Raptors, which apparently he doesn’t, the team would still be able to offer him nearly $50 million more for than any other team. Toronto can offer a max contract of $190 million, which will be spread out over five years. The Lakers and Clippers can offer $141 million, TSN reports.
Kawhi averages 27.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, which is already insane. But, it may get even better for Leonard, when you consider the fact that he will be hitting an all-time career high if he keeps playing the way he has been. Take a look at his impressive stats:
One would suspect that Leonard is also not unaware that ever since he joined the Raptors, he has been thriving, which is likely to play a part in the player’s decision to either stay or go.