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Toronto Raptors NBA basketball team player Kawhi Leonard is photographed during media day in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

Leonard Introduced By Raptors; Says He’s Focused On The Season Ahead

All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard was introduced to the media by the Toronto Raptors on Monday, catching people’s attention with both his “infectious” laugh and down-to-earth persona.

Leonard may not be the best interview, but he is one heck of a basketball player. Thankfully for the Raptors, they brought him in for the latter.

Leonard’s happy to be with the Raptors; Focused on this season, not free agency

A lot has been made of the shocking trade that sent the two-time defensive player of the year to Toronto in July. Many people were both surprised and upset about the move, especially Leonard, but after Monday’s press conference, it seems all of that is now water under the bridge.

“I want to play here,” Leonard said.” I want to do great things and focus on this year. If you’re looking toward the future, you’re going to trip over the present.”

The former Spur will be a free agent after this season and many are already speculating where he may end up. According to Leonard though, he’s not focusing on that right now:

When he was asked about his career goals, Leonard’s answer was pretty simple, stay healthy:

The Raptors are hoping the same thing, considering he appeared in just nine games last season. Nonetheless, Leonard is healthy now and seems ready to help get Toronto back into the postseason.

“I have no regrets (about last year). I want to focus on this team, this journey that we have in front of us today, and just stay in the present time, and not look back.”

How long will Kawhi stay in Toronto?

As discussed previously in the article, Kawhi Leonard is only under contract for one year in Toronto. So what is the plan for Leonard after this season?

He’s slated to make a lot of money next summer in free agency and the rumors are that he has California on his mind. According to ESPN, league sources have confirmed that Leonard is primarily interested in signing with the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers.

Whatever happens this year, it seems pretty evident that Leonard won’t be in a Raptors’ uniform next season.

 

About Evan Lepak

- 23 - Sports Journalism - UF '20 - Gators, Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Magic - avid lover of pizza

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