7. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors
STATS: 26.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.7 3PTs, 49.0 FG%
The Raptors are being very cautious with Kawhi Leonard’s minutes, not only resting him on the second night of back-to-backs but also holding him out of some random contests to restrict his playing time.
Toronto is currently 45-17, which is the second-best record in the East, and their primary concern is entering the playoffs at full strength so they can make a deep run. If the Raptors aren’t able to make a lot of noise this postseason, they may have to worry about Leonard bolting in July when he hits free agency. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports was recently a guest on The HoopsHype Podcast and of all the star free agents available this summer, he’s most intrigued to see how Leonard’s situation plays out.
“I think the Clippers have a really good shot at Kawhi. I really do,” Haynes said. “Give credit to that front office over there and the way they’ve changed the culture… It depends on how things play out in Toronto. I think they really have to, if not win the championship, [at least] get to the NBA Finals to kind of cure the concern. That’s going to be really interesting. I’m looking forward to how [Leonard’s free agency] is going to play out – probably even more so than Kevin Durant’s.”
Awards, Top, Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Paul George, Stephen Curry, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors