Rick Zamperin: Kawhi Leonard doesn’t owe the Raptors, or Toronto, anything
So, how stressed out are you waiting for Kawhi Leonard to make a decision on his NBA future?
The Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers are in a three-horse race to land one of the most coveted free agents in the National Basketball Association and fans of each team are being put through the wringer.
With each passing hour, we are being bombarded by media reports and social media posts telling us which way Leonard is leaning.
One hour the defending NBA champion Raptors are the leading contender to re-sign the 28-year-old superstar, the next he is expected to return to his hometown of Los Angeles.
There have also been reports that the two-time NBA Finals MVP was contemplating a move to New York to team up with Kevin Durant and recently drafted Canadian R.J. Barrett in an effort to bring the Knicks back from obscurity.
Fake Twitter accounts have been created to dupe the most gullible fans into believing Leonard is signing with one of the three teams.
WATCH: The fight to keep Kawhi Leonard in Toronto heats up
At the end of the day, it’s just all white noise. Until Leonard officially agrees to sign a contract with Toronto or one of the two L.A.-based clubs (or elsewhere), we are all playing the same guessing game.
If he decides to leave Toronto, Raptors fans will obviously be disappointed, but Leonard doesn’t owe the team — or the city of Toronto — anything.
Yes, the Raps kept a close watch on his minutes and health throughout the regular season, giving rise to the term “load management,” but he played hurt in the playoffs and was still the best player, by far, on the team.
Leonard led Toronto to the promised land, something Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Chris Bosh and DeMar DeRozan could not.
Leonard may not have put the Raptors on the map but he did put them in the history book as NBA champs. Either way, fans in Toronto and L.A. will have to accept his decision.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.