When Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors ahead of the 2018-19 season, it was widely believed that it would be a one-year rental. Despite leading the Raptors to the NBA Finals, it’s still very possible that remains the case.
In the event Kawhi heads to free agency, at least one NBA team is planning to go at him aggressively.
According to SNY reporter Ian Begley, the New York Knicks are planning to aggressively pursue Kawhi in free agency this summer. The news comes on the heels of the injury to Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant’s whose Achilles injury has altered the entire free agency landscape.
Kawhi averaged a career-high 26.6 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game in the regular season, and has been even more dominant in the playoffs. Through 23 playoff games he has averaged an incredible 30.9 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, and 4.0 assists per game.
He is the presumptive NBA Finals MVP in the event the Raptors can beat the Warriors.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 12, 2019
🔸 The Knicks could still offer Kevin Durant a deal if he opts out
🔸 Chasing Kawhi Leonard suddenly becomes more important
🔸 Some in the Knicks organization are wary of dealing for Anthony Davis due to problems from Carmelo Anthony trade@IanBegley with the latest: pic.twitter.com/tklSGQe18B
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 11, 2019
As for the Knicks, they currently have two slots open for a max deal, and have expressed interest in just about every big-name free agent on the market – including Durant and Kawhi.
But with Durant now injured and Kyrie Irving being rumored to want to join the Brooklyn Nets, it’s understandable that the Knicks would want to turn their attention to another elite free agent.
The Knicks hold the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft.