Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
- Nuggets’ Thomas joins Hart to talk Celtics, Cavs - September 11, 2018
- Sources: Celtics’ Irving, Hayward ‘look impressive’ in pickup play - September 7, 2018
- Scott wants to patch things up with Kidd - September 7, 2018
Kawhi Leonard took his physical with the Toronto Raptors this past Saturday (July 21), according to ESPN reporter Chris Haynes.
The Raptors, who were already a close-to-the-chest organization, are going to be especially cautious in keeping Leonard’s medical info private, knowing how much he values trust and what happened in San Antonio when he felt it was violated, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca.
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) July 23, 2018
When the trade between the Spurs and Raptors became official, some around the league were predicting Leonard wouldn’t even show up to Toronto because of his reluctance to play for the team.
That didn’t end up being the case, as Leonard posed for a picture with Raptors president Masai Ujiri and even cracked a smile.
Ujiri was made aware of Leonard’s unwillingness to play for the Raptors before pulling the trigger on the trade with the Spurs. Ujiri made the deal anyway, as now that LeBron James is in the West, Toronto feels it has a great chance to get to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history with Leonard in the mix.
The Raptors had the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season and are essentially replacing DeMar DeRozan with Leonard.
Ujiri and Toronto now have roughly 12 months to convince Leonard to re-sign with them. The Raptors can offer Leonard almost $50 million more than any other team in 2019, including a fifth year. Leonard, however, will have to pay more money in taxes now that he’s living in Canada.