Raptors’ Leonard returns to San Antonio in January

Kawhi Leonard will become an unrestricted free-agent in 2019.

Kawhi Leonard will return to play at the San Antonio Spurs as a member of the Toronto Raptors on January 3rd.

The Spurs traded Leonard to the Raptors in July after the two-time Defensive Player of the Year requested a trade.

Leonard only played in nine games this past season due to a lingering quadriceps injury. Tony Parker‘s comments about his quad injury being “a hundred times worse” than the ailment Leonard dealt with was the “last straw” for Leonard, according to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.

Although cleared by team doctors to return, Leonard was never cleared by his own doctors to play.

Parker and Manu Ginobili reportedly led a players-only meeting in which Spurs veterans asked Leonard whether he planned to return. Leonard was caught off guard by the meeting and left the team for New York to rehab his injury.

Leonard will become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Raptors can offer Leonard almost $50 million more than any other team in 2019, including a fifth year.