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SportsKawhi Leonard was worth it, even if he leaves the Raptors

17:07  13 may  2019
17:07  13 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

Kawhi Leonard's Rise up Raptors' All-Time Playoff Scoring List Will Blow Your Mind

Kawhi Leonard's Rise up Raptors' All-Time Playoff Scoring List Will Blow Your Mind You thought Kawhi Leonard was impressive in the regular season? Somehow, he has been even better in the playoffs. Leonard has single-handedly led the Toronto Raptors on both ends of the floor throughout the postseason. His offensive performance has especially been off the charts and he's on the brink of cracking the top three in franchise history for playoff scoring -- after just 17 games! DeRozan played 51 playoff games as a Raptor. Lowry's at 66. Kawhi's at 17. https://t.co/0Hu2A3pNix— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) May 24, 2019 What we've been witnessing from the Klaw during these playoffs is unprecedented for NBA players not named LeBron James.

Even if he is healthy and motivated, the Raptors —still reeling from their disastrous post-season— are far from a powerhouse. But DeRozan isn’t just leaving against his will. However unintentionally, and however badly the Raptors may have wanted it to be otherwise, this trade is an undeniably harsh

It was all on display, the complete Kawhi Leonard show, and why it was worth staging in Toronto this season, even against ominous odds of there ever being another. © Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports, via Reuters Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard showed how vital he is to the Raptors , scoring 39 points to go

Kawhi Leonard was worth it, even if he leaves the Raptors © Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

That shot against the 76ers forever cements his Toronto legacy even if he departs this summer.

Anyone who thinks that Kawhi Leonard will stay with the Toronto Raptors this summer because of that mind-blowing, buzzer-beating, game-winning jumper at the end of Game 7 on Sunday doesn’t really understand that Kawhi Leonard doesn’t follow the plot all that well. Kawhi is a legend in spite of going completely off script as a superstar. No matter what happens this season in Toronto, it’s always been the case that Leonard is going to do what Leonard wants to do this summer, whether that’s stay in The North, move to Los Angeles, or whatever.

In a dark time, Kawhi Leonard is the hero we need

In a dark time, Kawhi Leonard is the hero we need We needed that. In the year of no spring, at a time when our leaders seem to be giving up on the future itself, in the grey days after yet another Maple Leafs let-down, we needed a hero. Kawhi Leonard is that hero. We’ll be replaying The Shot for years to come, savouring every bounce of the buzzer-beater to beat all buzzer-beaters. Thousands of words have been spilled describing it, with thousands more to follow. For us, we’ll just endorse the reaction of the great LeBron James: “!! !! !! !! !! !! !!” Now, our expert colleagues in the sports department tell us, it gets harder. Maybe too hard for these Raptors.

The Raptors ' deal for Kawhi Leonard has the potential to finally push the Raptors over the hump in DEVENEY: Why Raptors might regret trading for Leonard . Even if it becomes clear Leonard won't Even if Leonard leaves , shedding DeRozan's salary will give the Raptors a head start on a rebuild

Kawhi Leonard is headed to Toronto. Here's why this is the right move for the Raptors . Toronto isn’t Los Angeles, and it ’s true in Canada Leonard will trade board shorts for a good parka. But George passed on even a meeting with the Lakers to re-up with Oklahoma City, swapping the Pacific Ocean

What that incredible shot to vanquish the Sixers did is prove that even if this only lasts until the Raptors are eliminated or win the 2019 championship (whichever comes first), the risk was worth it.

Toronto had a perfectly cromulent team before general manager Masai Ujiri traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a pick to the Spurs for Leonard and Danny Green. Given that LeBron James slid over the Western Conference early in free agency, the Raptors would have been justified in running it back. DeRozan and Kyle Lowry had proven they could carry a team deep in the playoffs, and their primary NBA Finals obstacle had removed himself from the situation.

Kawhi Leonard’s sister deletes video saying brother will leave Toronto

Kawhi Leonard’s sister deletes video saying brother will leave Toronto Kawhi Leonard’s sister deletes video saying brother will leave Toronto

When Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Raptors , I felt it hard. It not only marked the end of an era— it raised some serious questions about how both Leonard and the Spurs actually worked. The perennial All-Star, who had previously shown little interest in anything other than his team winning games

LOS ANGELES -- When Kawhi Leonard was a kid growing up in Southern California, he was surrounded by It should leave the Lakers, whom the Toronto Raptors bludgeoned Sunday night by a score of 121-107 with The Raptors were great last season. Could they be even better with Leonard ?

Hasn’t patience proven to be a powerful tool in the NBA this season, after all? Consider the closely fought series to produce the second conference finalist in the West. The Blazers were swept out of the first round by a No. 6 seed last year. The Nuggets didn’t even make the playoffs. Neither team made major changes to their roster last offseason. And here they were, worthy competitors fighting to the last moment for a spot in the conference finals. Patience paid off for them.

Ujiri and the Raptors opted to roll the dice instead, trying to create something greater at risk of conceding stability for the long-term. DeRozan was around for the long run; Kawhi could have been a destabilizing rental. (He still could be.) But in that one season guaranteed with Leonard, the Raptors could be great. They could destroy the demons. They could do something more.

And here they were. The bet paid off.

Kawhi Leonard’s body language after Game 3 loss sparks concern

Kawhi Leonard’s body language after Game 3 loss sparks concern The body language of Kawhi Leonard after the Toronto Raptors’ 116-95 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday sparked some fan reactions. Leonard’s Raptors were beaten thoroughly, trailing almost from beginning to end. It really got away in the fourth quarter as Philly cruised to a 21-point victory. The Sixers now lead the series, 2-1. When Leonard sat down for his post-game press conference, he looked exhausted and defeated. Kawhi's body language speaks volumes pic.twitter.

The Raptors ' deal for Kawhi Leonard has the potential to finally push the Raptors over the hump in the Eastern Conference. The Toronto Raptors are my favorite NBA team. They have had a pretty rough franchise but the combo of Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry might be able to get us to the

The Raptors ' deal for Kawhi Leonard has the potential to finally push the Raptors over the hump in the The most obvious risk is that Leonard leaves . The two-time Defensive Player of the Year has made Even if it becomes clear Leonard won't stay, Toronto has positioned itself well for the future.

It’s true that the Raptors under DeRozan and Lowry also made the Eastern Conference finals. That incredible shot by Leonard — one that will anchor every Raptors hype video for the near and long-term future, barring a sequel in the next round — aside, Toronto hasn’t actually accomplished anything more than the last version of the team.

Yet thanks to where the Raptors are now, even if a familiar place, the bet on Kawhi feels justified. It feels as though the way Toronto got to this point — against a worthy foe in an ultra-close series, with a Raptors’ hero making one of the greatest shots of the millennium — makes whatever happens in July acceptable.

Of course, the Raptors would love for that shot to cement mutual and long-lasting love between Kawhi and the people of Toronto. Maybe it will. Maybe Kawhi loves warm weather and Doc Rivers a little bit more. We’ll see. But even if Toronto ends up back in the lottery next season because Leonard has fled, for this moment — this rare moment that so few NBA fans experience — it will have been worth it.

These fleeting moments of unbridled joy and unfathomable hope are why anyone gives so much of themselves to be a fan. You stick through the painful losses and the memes and the jokes and the daggers for moments like this. You risk getting burned for that rare opportunity to explode with happiness. Vulnerability is a prerequisite for what Toronto experienced Sunday evening.

Trading for Kawhi with no guarantees for next season made the Raptors more vulnerable than ever. At least the DeRozan and Lowry duo for sure wanted to be in Toronto. But the vulnerability created by Kawhi’s uncertain future and Raptors fans’ belief in Leonard made Sunday more special. You can’t win big without risking a little. The Raptors did that by betting they could bring Kawhi back into the spotlight. It worked.

Now we see if it’s enough to get the Raptors somewhere they’ve never been before: the NBA Finals.

Is everyone done sleeping on Kawhi Leonard yet?.
LeBron James held the title for so long, at least nine years, that it’s hard to remember a time when the throne sat empty. Following a very mortal season in Los Angeles, however, it’s worth re-examining the greatest basketball player on the planet. These playoffs have provided compelling arguments for two players, in particular. One is obvious: Kevin Durant. He has been part of the conversation for five years and continues to set a new standard for 7-footers. Finally, it seems, there’s proper acknowledgement of his defense. The other has taken longer for most fans to get used to as a contender: Kawhi Leonard.

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