Caesars Palace favors the Clippers to sign Kawhi Leonard at -200 odds. The Raptors are right behind them at +125, the Knicks are at +280 and surprisingly, the Warriors have the fourth-best odds at +320, well ahead of the Lakers at +900.
Can the Warriors pull it off and go from Kevin Durant to Kawhi Leonard as their next superstar? It wouldn’t be easy, they can’t just give Leonard the money they planned for Durant, they would probably have to move Klay Thompson (who will be a free agent this summer) or Draymond Green and there’s no way to know if they would consider this.
Leonard has put together a playoff run for the ages, leading the Raptors to their first NBA Finals while dealing with rumors about his future. Toronto acquired Leonard on a trade with the Spurs despite knowing that he was set to become a free agent at the end of the season but that bet paid off.
FS1 analyst Cris Carter does think 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.
“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.“
“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.”
During the same show he later said that the Raptors have “a chance” and then stated they “might have a slight edge.”
“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.”
Leonard always keeps things to himself and he’s focused on the present but the popular belief is that the Clippers are his preferred destination.
Series Price for the NBA Finals
(Courtesy of BetOnline)
2019 NBA Finals Schedule
(Courtesy of Sports Media Watch. These are subject to change)
Game 1: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors, Thursday, May 30 at 9:00 PM ET
Game 2: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors, Sunday, June 2 at 8:00 PM ET
Game 3: Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, June 5 at 9:00 PM ET
Game 4: Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors, Friday, June 7 at 9:00 PM ET
Game 5: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors, Monday, June 10 at 9:00 PM ET (If necessary)
Game 6: Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors, Thursday, June 13 at 9:00 PM ET (If necessary)
Game 7: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors, Sunday, June 16 at 8:00 PM ET (If necessary)