For very long, sports heroes in Canada have been hockey players. But they aren’t the ones getting chased by overhead cameras on the way to meetings, are they?
Kawhi Leonard made history when he carried the Raptors to a Championship, effectively sealing his future as a legend in Toronto. At a point, basketball fans all over Canada and even the United States think it is a done deal that he would stay in Toronto for the next season. But then, it swayed to LA. And now, as we wait for an answer, nobody seems to have a clue.
We’ve been on edge for weeks. Kawhi Leonard’s signing of an endorsement deal with Cargo Jet Airways in Ontario Canada could be a sign that the 28-year-old is looking forward to another season with the Toronto Raptors. The June endorsement deal had Raptor fans on cloud nine as they see it as a sign that the man who helped them win the championship is seriously considered staying on; otherwise, why sign an endorsement deal close to home? Truly, though, nothing means anything and everything means nothing.
As we all know, in the world of sports, until the ink is dry on paper, anything can still happen. It’s no wonder bookmakers across the world are placing odds on where Leonard will end next season.
To start with, online sports site Sports Betting Canada has placed the Toronto Raptors as favorites to keep Kawhi for next season with odds ranging up to +125, with extra odds that the Toronto Raptors will again win the Championship. Would Kawhi make the Raptors championship favourites with an inked contract? While bookmakers think the Raptors will likely stick with the Finals MVP, the Lakers and the Clippers sit in the range of 190 and above.
Following closely behind the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers are the New York Knicks with odds in excess of +3500, Brooklyn Nets at odds from +5000 above, and the 76ers in Philadelphia with odds above +7500.
Why Raptors can get Leonard in free agency
It makes a ton of basketball sense. Run it back for a 1+1 before everybody is off the books next year. Try to repeat.
Sometime in June, rumors started surfacing that Kawhi Leonard bought a house in Toronto. The significance of this purchase cannot be overemphasized and while it is true that the all-star later debunked the rumor, many are of the opinion that he actually did buy a house, but don’t want to make news out of it.
Michael Landsberg of TSN 1050 somewhat confirmed the rumor when he said he heard of the property purchase by Leonard in Toronto, news he heard from more than one source, showing that there may actually be some truth to the rumor.
Of course, buying a property is not enough proof of interest to stay, but when it comes to Leonard, it may be enough to convince people as this is someone who is rather reticent when it comes to talking about his future.
That aside, Kawhi Leonard is in good standing to win the Championship considering the way Masai Ujiri has composed the team’s roster.
Do you think Kawhi will decide to stay?