Knicks confident Raptors star Leonard will grant meeting

Raptors All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard will enter free agency in July.

The New York Knicks expected to be granted a meeting with Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard in free agency this summer, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry also believe they have a “puncher’s chance” to land Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, Berman reported.

For now, Leonard’s Raptors and Durant’s Warriors are facing off in the Finals, with the Raptors holding a 2-1 series lead. (Durant has missed the entire series with a strained right calf.)

Both players will be unrestricted free agents this offseason.

“While Durant has plenty of tie-ins to the Knicks, Leonard does, too, with his uncle Dennis Robertson¬†hailing from northern New Jersey,” Berman reported. “Leonard actually lived in northern Jersey part of last season while rehabbing. Durant, who is from Washington, DC, has never lived in the New York area.”

According to Berman, the Knicks could be a little nervous about Durant, with reports suggesting that Boston Celtics star and free-agent-to-be Kyrie Irving shares a strong mutual interest with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant may not want to feel as if he’s going to New York alone, as Berman relayed.

As for Leonard, a recent report said he is most likely to sign a short-term contract with the Raptors, as opposed to testing the market this summer.

The Knicks are also expected to try to make a run at New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, with the Knicks perhaps dangling the No. 3 overall draft pick as part of a package.

Leonard has also been linked to the Los Angeles Clippers.