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SportFive Big Questions Surrounding Kawhi Leonard's NBA Free Agency

17:10  25 june  2019
17:10  25 june  2019 Source:   si.com

Did Kawhi Leonard tip hand about leaving Raptors in free agency?

Did Kawhi Leonard tip hand about leaving Raptors in free agency? The way Kawhi Leonard phrased an answer during an interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt after winning the NBA championship on Thursday night has some wondering whether he tipped his hand about his free agency plans. 

Is Kevin Durant looking for something new? Does he prefer to re-launch the Warriors dynasty? The Crossover answers these questions and more ahead of KD' s free - agency decision.

Five Big Questions Surrounding Kevin Durant' s NBA Free Agency . Is Kevin Durant ready to start a new chapter? The answer to this question flipped the NBA on its axis three summers ago, adding one of the greatest scorers in league history to a 73-win squad.

It would certainly be unprecedented for the Finals MVP to leave his current team less than a month after hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy, but we’ve long known Kawhi Leonard is a different dude. Toronto’s resident ‘fun guy’ is nearly impossible to get a read on, light on words and even lighter on expression. It wouldn’t be a surprise for Masai Ujiri to have no idea where Leonard is headed. The tea leaves are meaningless to read. Don’t expect a glossy magazine piece or heartfelt essay from Leonard. If he bolts from Toronto, the message will be clear from both sides: Thanks for the memories.

Fred VanVleet on Kawhi Leonard Staying in Toronto: 'Nothing More That We Can Do'

Fred VanVleet on Kawhi Leonard Staying in Toronto: 'Nothing More That We Can Do' Fred VanVleet on Kawhi Leonard Staying in Toronto: 'Nothing More That We Can Do'

The Crossover answers these questions and more ahead of KD' s free - agency decision. Is Kevin Durant ready to start a new chapter? The answer to this question flipped the NBA on its The Lakers’ pipe dream will never come to fruition, and the Clippers buzz revolves largely around Kawhi Leonard .

Is Kevin Durant looking for something new? Does he prefer to re-launch the Warriors dynasty? The Crossover answers these questions and more ahead of KD' s free - agency decision.

While we’d be a fool to parse Leonard’s actions for free agency clues, we can set the terms of debate for his next move. There are a number of free questions that loom over Leonard’s free agency, the answers to which could sway the decision for the league’s preeminent free agent. With less than a week remaining until Leonard’s free agency, we at The Crossover identified five key factors that could swing the NBA’s balance of power for years to come.

Can We Trust Toronto’s Future?

Leonard’s return to Toronto would secure the Raptors’ spot atop the top contenders for the 2020 title, though are we convinced their championship window will stay open much longer? Toronto is in no position to create a superteam, and a large share of the team’s core is trending toward their late 30s. Leonard could run the risk of spending his prime with a creak supporting cast as Milwaukee and Philadelphia ride their youngsters to the conference crown. Leonard may be the King in the North forever. His time as King of the NBA may be far shorter.

Sources: Kawhi Leonard to meet with Lakers, Clippers

Sources: Kawhi Leonard to meet with Lakers, Clippers Sources: Kawhi Leonard to meet with Lakers, Clippers

We at The Crossover broke down the five big questions of Kevin Durant’ s free agency , the answers of which will shape The NBA ’ s largest elephant in the room rests only inches above Kevin Durant’ s right foot. It’ s a testament to his historic skill that there is little conversation surrounding the economic

Nobody knows if Kawhi Leonard , the man who won Finals MVP, will return to the Toronto Raptors as a free agent . Golden State Warriors stars Kevin (There is an interesting sub- question here: How long will Leonard ' s next contract be? One might assume that he would sign the longest deal possible

Toronto will face a turning point next summer. Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka both come off the books, as does Marc Gasol assuming he opts into $25 million with Toronto. It’s possible Gasol opts out and constructs a multi-year deal to stick with the champs. Yet there’s minimal chance he enters the free agent market. Gasol’s best bet is still the opt-in, giving the Raptors a third expensive contract expiring in 2020.

Such a clean timeline provides a strong outlook into the next decade. Even if Toronto retains Leonard, it’s not beholden to an older core for long. The Raptors could chase the 2020 title with Lowry, Gasol and Ibaka, then pivot in July with Leonard, Siakam and sizable cap space. The Raptors’ future is murky. Their flexibility remains a key asset in constructing a winner into the late years of a potential long-term deal with Leonard.

Are there Alternative Contract Options?

We’ve covered Leonard’s options if he stays in Toronto long-term, but is the full five-year max a given? We’ve seen both LeBron James and Kevin Durant sign short deals, keeping free agency close in case their respective situations go south. Leonard could take a similar route.

Report: Lakers meeting with Kawhi will include Magic Johnson

Report: Lakers meeting with Kawhi will include Magic Johnson We’re living in an upside down world and that seems to be fine with everyone involved. Mere months after abruptly resigning from his post as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president, Magic Johnson will be part of their pitch meeting to free agent Kawhi Leonard. This information comes to us via Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times and is an absolute whopper. Turner reports that Johnson will join Lakers owner Jeanie Buss in the meeting with Kawhi. Sources. Kawhi Leonard’s people plan on meeting with Lakers president Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson next week when free agency starts.

2018 NBA Free Agency . Chris Smoove. Загрузка Throwback: Kawhi Leonard Full Series Highlights vs Miami Heat (2014 NBA Finals) - Finals MVP!

Leonard has done an admirable job deflecting his free agency questions in the wake of the Finals and the few reports that have leaked out (Woj) have been mostly discredited by other members of Aside from Kawhi Leonard , the Lakers have been linked to almost every big free agent name on the market.

Such a move might prove prudent from a winning standpoint. Toronto can strike when the iron is hot in 2019-20 with Golden State potentially out of the picture and Leonard can sign a one year deal with an additional option. New York might loom Durant’s rehab year in New York, or Leonard could finally bolt to the Clippers if their haul of assets nets another big name. Leonard keeping his options open will maximize his championship window.

Suggesting a one-and-one deal requires a short memory, though. It was just 11 months ago when Leonard joined the Raptors following a nine-game season in San Antonio. Leonard landed on Zaza Pachulia’s foot one year prior and missed the rest of the 2017 Western Conference finals. Durant’s ruptured Achilles could very well spook free agent classes for years to come. Considering Leonard’s injury history, it’s hard to imagine him signing a short term deal in Toronto or any other location.

Five Big Questions Surrounding Kawhi Leonard's NBA Free Agency© Provided by TIME Inc. Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

How Big is the Finals Factor?

Toronto of course earns some points with Leonard for, well, winning the damn Finals, but just how much will the June memories sway Kawhi’s decision? The Raptor’s love for one another after winning the title was undeniable; there was no smile and wave for the cameras. Kawhi pulled off an extended standup comedy routine by his standards while tipsy Marc Gasol was an undeniable delight. Saying goodbye under such circumstances has little historical precedent outside of retirements. Would Leonard’s decision be different had the Raptors lost Game 3 and Game 4 to the Bucks? The current reality can only help Toronto’s pitch.

Report: Raptors' hopes of re-signing Leonard fading

Report: Raptors' hopes of re-signing Leonard fading It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Kawhi Leonard was going to return to Toronto. An impending free agent, that’s apparently no longer the case. According to Chris Broussard of Fox Sports, the chances of Toronto retaining Leonard in free agency are “fading.” The report mentions the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers as the two teams likely to sign Leonard. Hearing Raptors chances of keeping Kawhi are fading. A return to SoCal – either team – getting more and more likely.

1. How badly does Kawhi Leonard want to be a Laker? On Wednesday afternoon there was an ESPN report indicating that "pressure is mounting" on the Lakers to make a deal for Kawhi Leonard before Friday, when LeBron will Buyer Beware: Think Twice Before Signing These Five NBA Free Agents .

Kawhi Leonard , coming off an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors, is scheduled to reach free agency when the official negotiating period begins next Sunday. Now, a new report says that Leonard may be considering staying put. Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday that Leonard , in an expected

Can Jerry West Conjure Some Magic?

The Clippers didn’t have to have the horses to compete with their Staples Center partners in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, especially considering the pick haul surrendered by Rob Pelinka. But there may be some appealing trade options left. The Clippers’ current core is an exciting group. As currently constructed, though, it may fall short of title contention, even with Leonard. One more trade could help alter his free agent decision.

Who remains on the market for Los Angeles? The only obvious trade option is Bradley Beal. There’s skepticism Washington will part with the two-time All-Star and Ted Leonsis favorite, but if he is in fact available, Los Angeles can provide an intriguing package including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Things aren’t much clearer on the free agency front. Tobias Harris was traded away from the Clippers already and Khris Middleton is a more likely fit to run it back with the Bucks. DeMarcus Cousins isn’t the answer and there is little Kyrie Irving buzz. Maybe a mystery free agent arises (Kemba Walker?) to add a dose of All-Star talent next to Leonard. West and Co. will do their due diligence. Regardless, Leonard doesn’t seem to be in the recruiting game like the Irvings of the world. He could come to the Clippers as he entered Toronto: A one-man wrecking crew eyeing the Finals.

Kawhi Leonard is Suddenly the Most Powerful Being on Earth

Kawhi Leonard is Suddenly the Most Powerful Being on Earth With the initial NBA Free Agency frenzy already over, the entire sports world is focused on one man. Kawhi Leonard is the last domino to fall, and his decision will have an immeasurable effect on the future of the league. By waiting to sign a contract until after all the big free agents chose their destinations, the Finals MVP now has all the power in the world. Kawhi Leonard will not take any meetings with teams today, as he'll ramp up the process over next couple days, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 1, 2019 With every team who can afford Leonard clamoring to attain his talents, Kawhi can choose whatever path he wants.

Kawhi Anthony Leonard (/kəˈwaɪ/, born June 29, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association ( NBA ).

And Kawhi Leonard could get traded. Here’ s everything we’re wondering about heading into what could be Here are the biggest questions we’re mulling over less than a week away from the start of a Both teams were blank slates: For all the pomp surrounding James’ s triumphant return home to

Los Angeles or Bust?

Leonard’s foray north was originally identified as a hard rental last July. With one year remaining on his contract, Leonard was expected to thaw out as soon as possible after a short stint in Toronto, allowing Ujiri and Co. to hit a hard reset button as the franchise moves to the next decade. Will a title change the calculus, or does the sunshine of Los Angeles prove too alluring? The pull of home can superseed a championship. Perhaps it could be Leonard’s deciding factor. If the sunshine is calling, what is Ujiri to do?

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Five Big Questions Surrounding Kawhi Leonard's NBA Free Agency

Knicks reportedly backed out of a meeting with Kawhi Leonard.
As both the United States and Canada wait to hear Kawhi Leonard’s free agency decision, the New York Knicks find themselves as a laughingstock in North America. New York was said to be in the market for at least one of the elite free agents available on the market. It missed out on both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who decided to team up on the Brooklyn Nets. Meanwhile, the Knicks never got a meeting with Leonard. At least, that’s the narrative we’ve seen thrown around in recent days.

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