5 NBA Players with Something to Prove During the Upcoming Season

Kawhi Leonard, NBA, Toronto Raptors
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3. Kawhi Leonard, F, Toronto Raptors

We all know about the Kawhi Leonard story. Leonard sat out of nearly all of the 2017-18 season with a mysterious injury. After numerous conflicts separated the Leonard and Spurs, a trade needed to happen. In exchanging DeMar DeRozan for Leonard, the Raptors have built a contender overnight. To make matters better, they didn’t give up any valuable young pieces such as Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, or Pascal Siakam.

When healthy, Leonard is a consensus top-five player in the NBA; a defensive stalwart and a bonafide offensive superstar. He averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.8 steals in his 2017 MVP caliber campaign. If he can return to this form, the Raptors will have a legitimate shot of making it out of the East. From there, there is a solid chance that he would remain in Toronto for the long haul, a far cry from the ideals of yesterday.

If Leonard, for whatever reason, can’t fully recover from his enigmatic injury, his stock will certainly take a hit. Still, teams like the Lakers will still be heavily interested in the star’s services in the summer of 2019. Leonard’s play will be closely scrutinized this year. It will be key for his future and the near future of the NBA.

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