It’s been the question on everyone’s minds since the NBA Finals came to their exciting conclusion - will he stay or will he go? In the latest Kawhi Leonard news, Raptors president Masai Ujiri says that he's confident that the MVP will stay in Toronto. Despite the recent news about the all-star’s plans to sit down with the LA Clippers next week.
Ujiri stated during a season-ending press conference on Tuesday that he has talked to Leonard and that those talks have been "positive". “I know what we’ve built here,” Ujiri said, according to The Associated Press. “I’m confident, and you see how these things go.” The Raptors executive credited the relationship of trust that the team built with Kawhi as the driving force behind his likelihood of staying.
“I said we have to be ourselves, and we were ourselves for the whole year,” Ujiri continued. “I think he saw that. I think we built a trust there. I believe winning a championship, him seeing who we are, working with his medical staff combined with our medical staff and getting him to where he wanted to be.”
Leonard and his camp are expected to sit down with the Clippers on July 2nd, despite the fact that Toronto still has the upper hand in keeping the player. According to the most recent predictions by Oddshark, the Raptors stand a -225 chance of taking home the player while the Clippers odds are much slimmer at +175.
Ujiri revealed during the press conference that he and Leonard had talked several times about the possibility of him staying in Toronto over the past couple days. “I texted Kawhi last night, I talked to his uncle this morning,” Ujiri said to The Globe and Mail. “For us, there’s that trust, regardless of wherever it goes, and there’ll be constant communication.”
Ujiri continued, “Kawhi is his own man. He’s shown that since he came here. He’s a confident human being, he’s an unbelievable person, he is his own person. I’m glad we got him for the year. I said this to you guys: We have to be ourselves. And we were ourselves the whole year. I think he saw that. I think we built a trust there."
All Toronto fans can do now is cross their fingers and wait.