In the 2019 NBA playoffs, Kawhi Leonard has re-established himself as one of the league’s best players.
Leonard has the Toronto Raptors on the brink of defeating the Golden State Warriors for their first championship and should that happen, a second NBA Finals MVP award would surely be his as well.
Yet even with such huge stakes up in the air, there is still a lot of attention being placed on what’s next for Leonard following the 2018-19 NBA season. Leonard is a free agent and will be one of the most sought after in the league. Rumors have placed the Raptors as favorites to re-sign him with the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks also expected to pursue him.
But those are all still rumors and no one can be sure what will ultimately happen. That rings even more true for Leonard as David Aldridge of The Athletic reports that nobody knows what he will do as he and his circle don’t speak to anyone:
No one knows. Let me repeat that. No. One. Knows. Leonard has a tight circle. Exceptionally tight. And they, like he, don’t talk.
That shouldn’t come as any surprise considering Leonard’s overall demeanor. He is one of the least emotional players the NBA has ever seen both on and off the court, so him keeping a small circle and not leaking anything makes sense.
This also falls in line with what Leonard himself recently said as he refused to go into anything involving free agency in a recent interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN:
“Not now. Obviously, you know what you want, but I’m not thinking like just because of this and this, I’m gonna re-sign. I’m not really thinking about re-signing or what team I’m gonna go to in free agency — none of that. I’m just focused on what’s in front of me right now. Once it’s over, then I’ll revisit everything.”
Leonard’s decision will have a major impact on the rest of the league and free agency as a whole. One would have to think that what happens in the 2019 NBA Finals will affect his decision as well. Whether the Raptors winning the championship would increase or decrease his chances of staying in Toronto is a question going around right now.
The Lakers will undoubtedly pursue him as long as they believe they have a chance to land him and though rumors suggest that chance is slim, they are just rumors. As Aldridge noted, nobody truly knows what Leonard wants to do except for Leonard himself.