The Toronto made a bunch of big moves in the offseason. They brought in a new coach in Nick Nurse and traded their leading scorer DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs to acquire two-time All-Star Kawhi Leonard.
The 27-year-old Leonard, who played in only nine games last season due to a quad injury, can opt out of his contract at the end of the season, and according to reports, he wants to play in Los Angeles.
At this point, the Raptors main goal is to try to sell Leonard on the city of Toronto, which in the past has not always been appealing to NBA stars, but Leonard seems to willing to give the city of Toronto and the Raptors a chance.
“I want to play here. As long as I have on a jersey, I want to play basketball,” Leonard said at the team’s media day on Monday. “I came here with an open mind. I want to do great things. I want to make sure that I put my all effort on the court each and every night. By winning games, this how you get star caliber players to want to come here and play.”
If the Raptors have a successful season, which is very possible with the roster they have assembled. Leonard would probably be willing to stay in Toronto. However, if the team struggles, expect Leonard to be elsewhere.
Just like the Thunder did with Paul George, Toronto is going to have to take a wait and see approach with Kawhi Leonard.