The day after his Raptors lost Game 2 of the NBA finals, two separate pieces of news broke which are both encouraging for Raptors fans hoping the superstar resigns at the end of the month. I’m not a fan of thinking about Kawhi Leonard’s free agency in the midst of our first ever NBA Finals, but when news comes out, something has to be made of it.
I’ll start with the less credible piece of information. At the beginning of the season, news broke that Kawhi Leonard purchased a multi-million dollar mansion in California. What’s important to note here though, is that the home he bought is in San Diego, his hometown. San Diego is a 2 hour drive from the Staples Center, where he would supposedly be playing if he left the Raptors for either the Lakers or the Clippers. To analogize, that’s like a Canadian player from Niagara buying a condo by the falls, and rumours coming out that he will sign with the Raptors. It’s just not plausible. Kawhi buying property in his hometown was never anything for Raptors fans to worry about. It’s just a very wealthy man providing a place to stay for his family.
What’s interesting though is that just this morning, Michael Landsberg said on TSN 1050 that “multiple sources” have informed him that Kawhi Leonard has now purchased property in Toronto. Michael Landsberg is no Adrian Wojnarowski, so one might have to take this news with a grain of salt, but there is certainly no other purpose (unless Kawhi secretly invests in real estate on the side of his basketball career) for why Kawhi would do such a thing, unless he was planning to sign at least one more year in the 6ix.
The second piece of evidence that is confirmed, however may not mean as much towards Kawhi’s case of staying in Toronto, is that he is suing Nike for copyrighting his Klaw logo, that he and his team designed. Supposedly, Nike took IP ownership of the logo without getting consent from Kawhi or his lawyers, and now they are about to pay the consequences. Why does this have anything to do with basketball though? Well I might be reading too deep into this, however Nike’s billion dollar man, and the face of their basketball branch, also happens to be the face of the Los Angeles Lakers; where Kawhi has been heavily linked with to sign this summer. Lebron reportedly called Kawhi just days before the finals to recruit him, and if that conversation went anything like Lebron, or Lakers fans hoped it would, this lawsuit probably wouldn’t be going through right now. Or the whole kerfuffle is just Kawhi’s lawyers telling him he could make some extra cash, and they will do all the work for him, so he gave them the green light, and this has absolutely nothing to do with basketball.
Anyways, that’s the quick break from the NBA finals to discuss free agency. Analyze it, or don’t – it wont make a difference. Whether he actually bought a house in Toronto, or wins the lawsuit against Nike will remain to be seen. What is guaranteed? The Toronto Raptors will face the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA finals at Oracle Arena Wednesday night. And oh by the way… He Stay.