Before Kawhi Leonard has even suited up for the Raptors, his top destination in free agency next summer is the Clippers, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. During an appearance on 710 ESPN Mason and Ireland, Shelburne labeled the Clippers as Leonard’s top pick with the Raptors his second choice and Lakers coming in third.
The Los Angeles native has reportedly preferred to end up back home with either the Lakers or Clippers. Several reports over the past year suggested that Leonard’s preference was joining the Lakers, who already signed LeBron James.
After a tumultuous and injured-riddled 2017/18 in San Antonio, the Spurs dealt their superstar to Toronto earlier this summer. Based on several reports, Leonard is excited and prepared for the upcoming season. Just last month, we relayed that Leonard was “keeping an open mind” about his future with the Raptors.
Early impressions on Leonard out of the Toronto camp have been positive. Recently, assistant coach Phil Handy provided an update on Leonard, who missed most of last season with a quad injury.
“He’s doing great,” Handy said. “He’s in great shape. Body looks good, he’s feeling good, he’s moving well. I don’t anticipate any issues or any problems. He’s working hard and he’s a hard worker.”
Earlier this week, Leonard’s longtime teammate with the Spurs and current teammate with the Raptors, Danny Green, opined that the two-time Defensive Player of the Year would have a hard time leaving Toronto.
“The city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there,” Green said.