The Los Angeles Clippers might have a tentative sitdown with free agent Kawhi Leonard planned for July 2, but the Toronto Raptors are already ahead of the game.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri has had several “good meetings” with the superstar over the past few days, and is confident in him re-signing north of the border.
masai says he’s confident in toronto’s chances in re-signing kawhi leonard. he’s had meetings with him the last few days, says those meetings have been positive.
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) June 25, 2019
Ujiri also said he’s been in contact with the Finals MVP over text message, and is in touch with Uncle Dennis, who serves as Leonard’s business strategist. Uncle Dennis is known to have significant pull with his nephew, so keeping him in the loop is a savvy play from Ujiri.
Toronto has emerged as betting favourites to land Leonard once free agency opens on June 30, and those odds might increase even more after this latest batch of comments from Ujiri. Then again, with the way Leonard keeps his cards close to the vest, it’s difficult to read into much of the chatter.
The Raptors did everything they could to convince Leonard to stay, using the load management approach to keep the 27-year-old healthy for the playoffs. The team also assembled a winning roster around him, culminating with an NBA championship. For someone so focused on a winning environment, it would be impossible for the Raptors to do much more for Leonard, especially since they can offer him the most money.
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