BOSTON (CBS) — All has been quiet on the Kawhi Leonard trade front for the last few weeks. That could change soon.
A new favorite has emerged in the Leonard sweepstakes according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, and it could directly affect the Boston Celtics.
Appearing on Zach Lowe’s podcast on Monday, Windhorst said the Toronto Raptors are now the leaders for the disgruntled Spurs star. Toronto hasn’t been mentioned too much in all the Leonard hoopla this offseason, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly given up in their quest to land the former NBA Finals MVP. That puts Toronto “in the driver’s seat,” according to Windy.
The Raptors could use a shakeup after a second straight second-round ousting in the playoffs. They fired head coach Dwane Casey (who was then named the NBA’s Coach of the Year), and Leonard would likely cost them one of their two All-Stars: DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowrie. But bringing in a star like Leonard could be the injection they need to finagle their way back into the Eastern Conference conversation, which is now dominated by the Celtics and 76ers.
Time will tell of Leonard actually moves this offseason. It seems like anytime something sounds like it’s getting close, talks go off the rails and we start from scratch again. But for now, it’s Toronto’s turn to be the favorites for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.