Many around the NBA are giving the Toronto Raptors no chance to retain Kawhi Leonard next summer. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year can become an unrestricted free agent if he declines his 2019-20 player option and reports claim Leonard wants to play in Los Angeles.
But Raptors swingman Danny Green, who was acquired by Toronto in the Leonard trade with the San Antonio Spurs, believes it might be difficult for Leonard to leave the city of Toronto.
“I don’t know where his mind is at for the future. I can’t predict or tell you. I can just tell you that the city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there,” Green said on his “Inside the Green Room” podcast. “I’ve been going every summer for the past 10-plus years. It’s a great city and the fans are amazing.
“The last couple weeks, just going up for a couple days here and there and how they’ve shown me so much love. As a Raptor now, I’m so much more well known there and getting a great amount of feedback, a great amount of love and all types of different stuff from the fans. So it’s gonna be tough for him to turn down.”
The Raptors hired Spurs assistant video coordinator Jeremy Castleberry as a player development coach in August. Castleberry earned his degree at San Diego State University and is very close with Leonard. The two played basketball in high school and in college together.
The common theory behind bringing in Castleberry is he will assist Leonard in getting acclimated to Toronto and may help the two-time All-Star open up to the idea of remaining with the Raptors.
For what it’s worth, Kawhi Leonard has bought a house in Toronto instead of renting one.
— Peter Yannopoulos (@PeteYannopoulos) September 9, 2018