The verdict has finally been handed down in the Kawhi Leonard saga. For at least one year, Leonard will be north of the border and play for the 59 win Toronto Raptors. After expressing serious interest in the Lakers, Leonard is reportedly not interested in playing for Toronto. According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Leonard could sit out this season.
And, league sources told Sporting News, Leonard has no interest in playing for the Raptors. There have been indications that he would sit out the entire season if necessary, and though that step would be drastic and unprecedented in today’s game, Toronto has forced the situation into uncharted territory by acquiring a player who has made it clear he does not want to be there.
Sitting out an entire season would be an awful career move for Leonard — who has already sacrificed a supermax contract by being traded from the Spurs. Toronto is in a position to contend in the Eastern Conference coming off 59 wins and the one seed.
With LeBron James heading west, the odds only turn in the Raptors favor. If Leonard decides to sit out, he’ll risk huge fines and no team would be comfortable risking a max contract to Leonard. It would mark nearly two full seasons without playing other than nine games in 2017.