Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors are one win away from winning the first NBA Finals in franchise history, but even with that milestone on the horizon, the superstar is still fielding questions about his future beyond this month.
After practice Sunday, Leonard was asked about circulating reports that he had purchased a property in Toronto — a report that gave Raptors fans hope they would re-sign Leonard in free agency this summer. He shot the rumor down, sort of.
“No, I didn’t,’’ Leonard said when asked if he had indeed bought property north of the border. “It didn’t happen yet, no.”
Kawhi Leonard when asked if he had purchased property in Toronto 🤔
— Ball Realm (@TheBallRealm) June 9, 2019
That discreet “yet” in Leonard’s response undoubtedly perked up a few ears in Canada.
Leonard, who will be only 28 years old when free agency opens in July, is one of the crown jewels of a 2019 class that features Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Klay Thompson, among others.
During his radio show last week, Toronto sports radio host Michael Landsberg said Leonard had purchased a property in Toronto. His report was corroborated by his guest, David Thorpe of TrueHoop.com.
“Everyone that I’ve talked to and is connected to his group agree the Raptors have done what they needed to do (to sign Leonard),” Thorpe said. “That doesn’t mean he can’t change his mind, of course he can, but as it stands today it’s hard to imagine that he would go somewhere else.
“Now he’s not going to sign a long-term deal, I wouldn’t think. He doesn’t have to. But it’s fair to guess he’s going to give at least a year or two more to Toronto to continue that relationship and see where it goes.”
This isn’t the first installment of property watch with Leonard. The Los Angles Times reported in January that the three-time All-Star had purchased a Tuscan-style estate in a San Diego County community for $13.3 million using a corporate entity he manages.
However, Leonard bought the West Coast mansion before this storybook run through the playoffs and the outpouring of affection from the city of Toronto.
“Coming in, I wanted to be able to contribute to the team and be able to get them to this point, and we’re doing it so far. I just feel like I did something special for them, just this group, just being able to be the first team to get to the NBA Finals for Toronto,” Leonard told reporters after winning Game 1 of the NBA Finals. “That’s how fans are. Everyone out here they love, not just me. If you walk through the city or if I’m with one of my teammates, they show them a lot of love as well. It’s a great support group out here with the fans and with everyone in Toronto.”