Kawhi Leonard is ready to head home and is reportedly focusing on signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.
ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski dispelled reports that Leonard might be interested in joining the Los Angeles Lakers, who will add Anthony Davis when trades can become official next month. Per Wojnarowski’s report, it’s the Clippers that Leonard wants to join.
Leonard attended San Diego State and is an LA native. He had almost an entire section of Oracle Arena filled with family in Oakland to watch the Toronto Raptors claim Game 6 against the Warriors and win the NBA Finals last week.
One day after Leonard celebrated with his team-mates and fans at a victory parade in Toronto, he appears to be ready to march back to Los Angeles in his first opportunity at free agency.
Acquired by the Raptors from the San Antonio Spurs last summer, Leonard has not ruled out a return to Canada on a long-term deal, ESPN reported.
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Leonard scored a total of 732 points in the postseason – the third most of all time – and won his second Finals MVP award to help the Raptors win their first championship.
Other veterans on the Raptors’ roster are waiting to see which direction Leonard will go, including Marc Gasol and Danny Green, who can become free agents on June 30.
Leonard has until June 29, his 28th birthday, to opt out of his existing deal. His 2019-2020 option is worth $21.3m (£16.9m) – the final year of a five-year, $94.3m (£75.1m) deal signed with the Spurs.
The Raptors can offer about $15m (£11.95m) more over the course of a five-year deal than any other team.
But ESPN reported Leonard could be weighing up short-term offers instead to return to free agency in two or three years, similar to the approach LeBron James has taken to free agency.