Kawhi Leonard believes so-called load management throughout the regular season is the reason he is playing so well for the Raptors.
Leonard, 27, suited up in 60 games before turning into a postseason monster that has Toronto on the brink of its first ever NBA title.
Kawhi continues to insist that his upcoming free agency this summer is something he’s not focused on.
“It was big,” Leonard said in a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “When it got bad, we ended up taking, you know, four or five games off. And, you know, if we didn’t do that, I wouldn’t be here right now.
“The way we laid out the schedule was good. I’m happy.”
When asked if the load-management plan really made that big of a difference, Leonard doubled down.
“For sure,” he said. “I don’t think I’d be playing right now if I would’ve tried to go through that season [without it].”
Meanwhile, the specter of his upcoming free agency looms over both Leonard and the Raptors.
“Not now,” Leonard said. “I mean, obviously — you know what you want. But I’m not thinking, like — just because of this and this, I’m gonna re-sign. I’m not even thinking about signing or what team I’m gonna go to, free agency, none of that. I’m just focused on what’s in front of me right now. And then, you know, once it’s over, then I’ll revisit everything.”