Fred VanVleet stated Sunday there may be nothing extra that the Toronto Raptors can do to persuade Kawhi Leonard to re-sign with the workforce, however he and a number of other teammates expressed their hopes that the NBA Finals MVP decides to return.
Leonard, who led the Raptors to a six-game NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors in his first season with Toronto, is predicted to choose out of the ultimate 12 months of his contract and grow to be a free agent.
“I believe for us, there may be nothing extra that we will do. We have accomplished it. Town has accomplished it. This franchise had accomplished it. The coaches have accomplished it. My teammates have accomplished it. We have accomplished our job. One of the best ways to recruit any person is to only be your self over the course of the 12 months, and I might assume that he is aware of what’s right here and what makes this place particular,” VanVleet stated on the workforce’s first media availability since successful the NBA title.
“If it is sufficient than it is sufficient. If it is not then it is not. … We’d all love for him to be again and if he is not then we are going to transfer on from there. It isn’t the most important deal on the earth. He got here right here and did what he was speculated to do. So he introduced this metropolis a championship and I believe he has earned his freedom and his profession to do what he desires to do and we’ll all respect him and admire him.”
VanVleet added that if Leonard “is on one other workforce, then we simply need to kick his ass subsequent 12 months,” drawing laughter from reporters in attendance.
“Hopefully he’ll be again,” he stated.
Raptors ahead Pascal Siakam stated of Leonard that the Raptors “undoubtedly need him again.”
Heart Marc Gasol stated Sunday that Leonard’s elite two-way recreation makes him “certainly one of a form.” “I do not assume there’s every other participant of his caliber proper now within the NBA,” Gasol stated. “He is on a pedestal by himself.” With standing like that, longtime teammate Danny Inexperienced stated Leonard’s resolution is bound to have a ripple impact throughout the NBA.
“Let’s not be silly,” Inexperienced stated. “His resolution impacts a number of guys’ selections. He can change an entire group.”
Raptors president Masai Ujiri is also the topic of hypothesis, linked to a suggestion from the Washington Wizards. Ujiri, who was not out there Sunday, is predicted to talk at Monday’s parade, which can end within the sq. exterior Toronto’s metropolis corridor.
Even after a 12 months collectively, Raptors coach Nick Nurse stated he has no concept which means Leonard is leaning.
“I do not actually know,” Nurse stated. “I do know he is received to decide right here actually quickly, couple of weeks. I believe he had a superb season and other people like him right here, and we can provide him a superb deal.”
Gasol also can choose out of the ultimate 12 months of his contract, whereas Inexperienced, a free agent, stated he hopes to return.
The Related Press contributed to this report.