Kawhi Leonard is a member of the Toronto Raptors, but for how long? After initial reports suggested that the superstar forward had no desire to play in Toronto, it appears he’s now warming to the idea.
Woj reporting that Kawhi is warming to the idea is to be expected. Ujiri has been in contact. The sell job begins.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) July 19, 2018
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kawhi and his camp have been in communication with Raptors president Masai Ujiri, saying he is healthy and will report to training camp.
“The one thing I was told today, [Kawhi’s] started to warm to the idea that he’s going to a contender,” Wojnarowski said. “Now it’s on Toronto to try to recruit him, keep him.”
Wojnarowski’s colleague at ESPN, Brian Windhorst, has also reported that Leonard will be ready to go for the Raptors.
“From what I understand and from talking to people, [Kawhi’s] going to be a professional about it,” Windhorst said on SportsCenter. “He’ll accept the situation and go try to make the best of it.”
These are hardly ringing endorsements for a long term tenure for Kawhi in Toronto, but it’s not the doomsday scenario yet either. The fact that the 27-year-old will be ready for training camp is a win in itself, meaning he is willing to play out the season with the Raptors and evaluate the potential of being in Toronto long-term.
Wojnarowski added that Leonard’s focus is still Los Angeles, but he could change his mind depending on the Raptors’ success and the relationships that will be built by the end of the season. That’s what happened with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were able to re-sign Paul George.
For the Raptors, the sell job starts now.