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Where Will Kawhi Leonard Play Next Season?

Kawhi Leonard Betting Odds May 29, 2019

Becoming a sports hero in Canada and not being a hockey player is rare ground for an athlete but NBA star Kawhi Leonard may have achieved that type of reverence. The 27-year-old carried the Toronto Raptors to the NBA championship and his future with the team is top of mind for hoops fans up north and in California as oddsmakers now think he could very well stay in Toronto for next season.

Online sportsbook Bovada has made the Raptors the odds-on favorite to keep Kawhi in the Six with new odds at -125 and with the Raptors winning the championship, oddsmakers think they are likely to keep the all-star. The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are the next teams on the list to land Leonard at +190. 

Following on the oddsboard after the Raptors, Clippers and Lakers are the New York Knicks (+3500), Brooklyn Nets (+5000) and Philadelphia 76ers (+7500).

Let’s break down the chances for the Raptors, Clippers and Lakers to nab the Klaw in free agency:

Raptors -125

An athlete potentially purchasing a property in Toronto isn’t usually newsworthy but this is Kawhi Leonard we’re talking about. Any move or communication in a positive light for Toronto is going to be construed as him wanting to stay, so this is a fairly big deal for a player who is mostly guarded about his future. 

And lodging aside, Kawhi could be in contention for a championship every year given the way that Masai Ujiri has constructed this Raptors roster. Let’s face it: Leonard single-handedly carried the Raptors to the NBA championship with dazzling dunks and buzzer-beaters.

The Raptors can also offer Kawhi something that no other team in the NBA can provide and that’s having an entire country rooting for him. The Raps are Canada’s team and the buzz in Toronto for being the first sports team from the Six to win a major championship since the 1993 Blue Jays will not be lost on Toronto sports truthers.

The Dinos won 58 games this season and provided Kawhi significant rest (missed 22 games) during the regular season to get his quadriceps back to 100 percent. They also gave him the ability to be the focal point of an offense to showcase his true potential of being the best two-way forward in basketball. It also can’t be dismissed that the Raptors can offer him the most money for a new contract.

I think Kawhi also has a great relationship with Ujiri, who took a risk on him after he only played nine games in the 2017-18 season and was labeled a malcontent due to his unceremonious exit from San Antonio. I think it’s highly unlikely he leaves Toronto now due to all the different reports coming out and Toronto has done everything and more to prove to Kawhi that this is a franchise worth re-signing with.

Clippers +190

The Clippers were very bold without tampering about letting Kawhi Leonard know they’re very interested in signing the former Defensive Player of the Year. Los Angeles had representatives sitting courtside for a lot of Raptors games during the regular season to scout him and let him know they were watching.

The Clippers are one of the few teams that have two max-salary cap slots to be able to jump-start their rebuild into relevancy. That is very impressive and perhaps attractive for potential free agents because they still won 48 games this season and pushed the Warriors to six games in the first round of the playoffs. A player like Kawhi could put them into the upper echelon of NBA contenders and an easy (and quite obvious) selling point is that he’s originally from Los Angeles.

I think this narrative of him signing with the Clippers won’t die and while Toronto may have more to offer, Kawhi’s hidden motivations make it very hard to discount the allure of returning to California.

Lakers +190

We have to include the Lakers as a potential candidate to land Kawhi because of the Los Angeles factor and the fact that they cleared enough cap space to land a third all-star. He would also get to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who are obviously better than anyone on the Raptors roster. That being said, Kawhi strikes me as someone who is very low-profile and doesn’t like drama. The Lakers (and LeBron) typically have that in spades.

The other storyline is Anthony Davis. The Lakers were able to acquire him from the Pelicans in a massive trade that will have LA’s draft picks wrapped up for the foreseeable future. So, the time to win is now and the trio of LeBron, Davis and Kawhi would be a juggernaut.

What do you think? Do you think Kawhi Leonard will stay with the Raptors or head to California to join the Clippers or Lakers? Have your say in the comments and let loose with a Kawhi laugh after you’re done posting your opinion.

To read more on the betting odds for which team will win the 2019-20 NBA championship, click here.

What Team Will Kawhi Leonard Play For In The 2019-20 NBA Season?

Odds as of June 28 at  Bovada

  • Raptors -125
  • Clippers +190
  • Lakers +190
  • Knicks +3500
  • Nets +5000
  • 76ers +7500

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