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A Favorite Has Reportedly Emerged For Kawhi Leonard In Free Agency

Kawhi Leonard returns to San Antonio for the first time.

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 3: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors walks away as Gregg Popvich head coach of the San Antonio Spurs greet Danny Green #14 at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 3, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Kawhi Leonard has reportedly made his first decision for NBA free agency, though it's an expected one. The Toronto Raptors star forward will be declining the 2019-20 player option in his contract and entering free agency.

Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Chris Haynes first reported the news.

"Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard declining $21.3 million player option to become unrestricted free agent with the Finals MVP seriously considering re-signing," he reports.

Free agency is set to begin on Sunday night, June 30.

The Los Angeles Clippers have been considered the favorite for Leonard, with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski saying the Raptors had work to do to keep him.

However, Haynes is now reporting that people within the league see Toronto as the favorite.

"The appeal of returning home to Southern California is enticing to the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, but with the trust the Raptors built while Leonard led the franchise to its first NBA title by upsetting the Golden State Warriors, rival executives view his current team as the favorite to land him when the free-agent negotiating period begins June 30, sources said," he reports.

Leonard is coming off a championship season with the Raptors, leading Toronto to an NBA Finals win over Golden State.

NBA free agency is set to begin on Sunday night, June 30.