Kawhi Leonard and the city of Toronto held a wild, championship celebration Monday afternoon—which was marred by gun violence—while his upcoming free agency loomed over the festivities.
Leonard, 27, says he is “going to take the right time” before making a decision about where to play next season.
Kawhi enjoyed a “great experience” after being traded from San Antonio last summer, and Raptors teammate Serge Ibaka “can see the man is happy.”
Per The AP:
“I’m enjoying this” he said. “It’s not time to stress, it’s still time to have some fun. I’ve just been enjoying my experience.”
After precisely two months of playoff basketball, Leonard doesn’t have a lot of time left to be a fun guy — free agency gets underway at 6 p.m. on June 30.
“I’m going to take the right time,” he said. “You don’t need too many days to figure it out. We’ll see what happens. Once that time comes, then we’ll all lay the pros and cons out.”
A three-time All-Star and two-time NBA defensive player of the year, Leonard is expected to decline the player option on the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Toronto can offer him a five-year deal worth around $190 million, one year and some $50 million more than any other team.
“I’ve been talking with him a lot during the season and in the playoffs, but after we won, I can see the man is happy,” Ibaka said. “That’s the most important. We play this sport because we want to enjoy and have fun and be happy and be somewhere people love you. I’m sure he feels that people here love him, and after this moment, that’s the most important.”