Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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Toronto Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard has been killing it during his summer workouts and “looks remarkable,” a league source told Amico Hoops on Sunday.
Leonard is 100 percent and has no limitations in his workouts. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year only played in nine games this past season due to a lingering quadriceps injury and requested a trade from the San Antonio Spurs.
Tony Parker’s comments about his own 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 in 2017-18. 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 in 2019. The Raptors can offer Leonard almost $50 million more than any other team in 2019, including a fifth year. The two-time All-Star recently worked out with stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant at UCLA and was superb, reminding both James and Durant who the best two-way player in the NBA is, a league source told Amico Hoops.
The Raptors have a great chance to get to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history with Leonard in the mix. Toronto had the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season and is essentially replacing DeMar DeRozan with Leonard.
In 407 games with the Spurs, Leonard averaged 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He was the 2013-14 Finals MVP.