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SportsReport: Knicks ‘expected to push hard’ for Kawhi Leonard in free agency

13:07  08 june  2019
13:07  08 june  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

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Report: Knicks ‘expected to push hard’ for Kawhi Leonard in free agency© Frank Franklin II/AP Kawhi-Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is easily the most popular person in Toronto right now, with the city simultaneously celebrating his post-season success and nervously wondering if he’ll choose to stay with the Raptors or hit the open market as a free agent.

It’s no secret that Leonard, who is averaging almost 31 points per game while leading the Raptors to the franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals, will have several suitors outside of Toronto when NBA free agency officially opens on June 30 at 6 p.m. ET. The Los Angeles Clippers have long been considered a strong contender for his services, as many believe the L.A.-based Leonard is eying a return home, but there’s another major market looking to pitch the star: the New York Knicks.

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According to Newsday’s Steve Popper, who cites “a source with knowledge of their plans,” the Knicks are “expected to push hard for Leonard when free agency begins.”

Mention the Knicks these days, and the first name that comes to mind is Kevin Durant, who will be the biggest free agent should he choose to move on from Golden State. Talk of Durant joining the Knicks has been so consistent that it seems like it’s a sure thing, but past free agency failures in New York has the team reportedly looking to secure a Plan B.

Popper says chasing Leonard would be “a solid backup option” should they fail to bring in Durant.

Leonard, of course, has not tipped his hand when it comes to future plans. The soft-spoken star reportedly purchased property in Toronto and has clearly found health and success with the Raptors, but continues to leave fans and media members grasping at straws for clues as to where he’ll suit up next season.

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Knicks seen as a viable landing spot for Kawhi Leonard.
Rumors surrounding the potential landing spot for reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard will not die down ahead of free agency next month. What we do know is that most around the Association believe that it’s between Leonard’s current Toronto Raptors team and his hometown Los Angeles Clippers. Even then, the New York Knicks continue to pop up as a potential destination. Despite struggles over the past several years and a talent-stricken roster, the lure of New York City seems to be there for Leonard. According to Ian Begley of SNY, that’s as true now as it ever was.

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