It’s no secret that any NBA team would be lucky to have Kawhi Leonard, but the real question is, who actually stands a chance of getting him? According to The Athletic’s Frank Isola, Kawhi is expected to sit down with the New York Knicks before heading to LA to reportedly meet with both the Clippers and the Lakers. It’s not shocking news since the all-star recently turned down his $21.3 million player-option. The more pressing question is, what can the Knicks offer him that no one else can?
According to a report by The New York Post, it’s New York’s thriving shoe market that is likely to be the draw for the NBA Finals MVP.
Kawhi recently ditched his Jordans partnership and made a leap to New Balance, a brand that had been out of the NBA market for years. The Knicks are expected to try to drive home New York’s ability to bring his new sneaker brand to the next level. At this point in Kawhi’s career, it may be a wise investment for the 27-year-old superstar.
It also doesn’t hurt that good ole Uncle Dennis and Knicks' president Steve Mills are from the same town and have known each other for years.
Despite all the teams vying for Kawhi right now, Raptors fans shouldn’t worry too much. Toronto is still heavily favoured to keep the MVP for next season. According to a recent prediction by Oddshark, the Raptors currently have the best chance at keeping the player at -250. The Clippers have the second-best odds at +150, the Lakers at +800 and the Knicks at +1400 followed by the Nets +1600.
According to CBC, Toronto can offer Kawhi more money than any other team, with a maximum five-year deal worth $190 million US. That’s on top of all the other crazy deals Torontonians have offered the player if he stays.
Fans only have days to wait for Kawhi's final decision. Here's to hoping that the odds stay in Toronto's favour.