Doc Rivers Sees a Lot of Michael Jordan in Kawhi Leonard

Thursday, May 30, 2019 8:25 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 30, 2019 8:25 PM UTC

Doc Rivers, the head coach of the team that many expect to sign Kawhi Leonard, had high praise for the Raptors star forward.

<div><p>During an appearance on an <a href="" target="_blank">NBA Finals</a> Preview show on ESPN, Rivers said about Leonard that: <em>"he is the most like Jordan that we've seen."</em> He added that:</p><p><em>"There's a lot of great players. LeBron is phenomenal, KD is phenomenal. Not that he is Jordan or anything like that, but he's the most like him. Big hands, post game, can finish. Great leaper, great defender, in-between game. If you beat him to the spot bumps you off, and then you add his three-point shooting."</em></p><div>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;\"Kawhi is the most like Jordan we've seen.\"&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Doc Rivers has some high praise for Kawhi Leonard. &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;May 29, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</div><div> </div><p>Michael Jordan had numerous playoff heroics while winning six championships in six appearances in the NBA Finals. MJ averaged 33.4 points per game in 179 playoff games, including 43.7 points per game in the 1986 playoffs.</p><p>Leonard is putting together an unbelievable playoff run, he led the Raptors to their first NBA Finals while dealing with rumors about his future because Toronto acquired him in a trade with San Antonio, despite knowing that he was set to become a free agent at the end of the season. The move has paid off though.</p><p>FS1 analyst Cris Carter believes that Leonard's free agency future will come down to two teams and on a recent episode of First Things First he signaled the Clippers and Knicks as frontrunners.</p><p><em>"I can believe there's going to be three teams in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes. That being the Clippers, I know the Lakers would like to be, I don't believe they'll be able to get in there to be able to make a mark, and the Knicks."</em></p><p><em>"I believe it's a two-team race between the Clippers and the Knicks. The Raptors, I just believe, without a championship, Kawhi is a different person. Don't get caught up into the emotion, don't react to this the way you would react, try to think about Kawhi because he's the person making a decision."</em></p><p>During the same show he later said that the Raptors have "a chance" and then stated they "might have a slight edge."</p><p><em>"Toronto does have a chance, so does New York, and so do the Clippers because he's playing in Toronto and he is a loyalty guy, they might have a slight edge, but those other two teams got real possibilities."</em></p><p>Leonard is very private and he's focused on the present but the popular belief is that the Clippers are his preferred destination and the man who could be his next head coach gave him the highest praise possible.</p><p><strong><u>Kawhi Leonard on 2019-20 Toronto Raptors roster?<br />(Courtesy of <a href=";book=Pinnacle" target="_blank">Pinnacle</a>)</u></strong></p><p>Yes +116</p><p>No -135</p><p><strong><u>2019 NBA Finals MVP Odds<br />(Courtesy of <a href=";book=JAZZ" target="_blank">Jazz Sports</a>)</u></strong></p><p>Stephen Curry -150</p><p>Kawhi Leonard +200</p><p>Draymond Green +650</p><p>Kevin Durant +750</p><p>Klay Thompson +750</p><p>Pascal Siakam +2600</p><p>Kyle Lowry +2600</p><p>Andre Iguodala +3500</p><p>Marc Gasol +5200</p><p>Field (any other player) +850</p><p><strong><u>Series Price for the NBA Finals<br />(Courtesy of <a href=";book=BetOnline" target="_blank">BetOnline</a>)</u></strong></p><p>Warriors -265</p><p>Raptors +225</p></div>
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