Future for Kawhi Leonard remains as unknown as ever
NBA.com Global on Jul 05, 2019 05:53 AM
FILE - TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 29: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors exits the arena after warming up before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers prior to Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 29, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The "Kawhi Watch" marches on across the NBA, with a new chapter added to it yesterday.
The top free agent left on the market is still deciding where he will sign for the 2019-20 season and beyond, but getting any details or sense on what he may be thinking doesn't turn up much.
Jabari Young of The Athletic has a solid connection with Leonard and covered him when he played for the San Antonio Spurs. Young tweeted last night that Leonard would not make a decision anytime soon, it seems.
Via Twitter, Young wrote: "On the Kawhi front, told he’s not making a decision tonight and it may not be until the next few days. He and his reps are going through the process and taking their time before deciding the next move. No 2-year deals have been discussed."
On the Kawhi front, told he’s not making a decision tonight and it may not be until the next few days. He and his reps are going through the process and taking their time before deciding the next move. No 2-year deals have been discussed. #NBA @TheAthleticNBA— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) July 4, 2019
Via ESPN's show "Get Up" on Thursday morning (Thursday evening, PHL time), Adrian Wojnarowski said of Leonard: "He's going to decide this when he decides this. ... Kawhi Leonard hasn't made a decision yet."
Doug Smith of the Toronto Star also has more on Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) latest with Leonard, who by all accounts has heard the Raptors' pitch:
How that pitch went, what it included, who precisely was involved and, most importantly, what impact it had on Leonard and his advisers remained as closely guarded a secret as exists in the league today.
It has been long expected Toronto would throw the best offer possible at Leonard — five years and nearly $190 million (all figures U.S.) — which is one year and $40 million more than either the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers could offer. But the very real possibility is that Leonard might prefer a shorter contract.
League sources — and that includes a very public statement by former Raptor and current broadcaster Jalen Rose — say a one- or two-year deal, with maybe an option for a third year, is very much in play.
Leonard could get $68.1 million for a one-year deal with one option year; a two-plus-one deal would max out at about $106 million.
The Rose statement on his Twitter feed said he was “99 per cent” sure the Leonard would be back with Toronto. It was followed less than an hour later by one from Cris Carter, the football hall-of-famer turned broadcaster and the brother of ex-Raptors coach Butch Carter. “A LOT of premature reports out there,” wrote Carter, who is seemingly close to Leonard. “Kawhi has NOT made his decision yet and all 3 teams are still in it. Yes, Lakers and Clippers are still in play and I’m 100 per cent certain of this. I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting an answer any time soon. Kawhi still undecided.”