The Toronto Raptors probably can't do a whole lot more when it comes to convincing Kawhi Leonard that he should re-sign for the super max in the offseason.
Think about it. Leonard is playing at an MVP level. The Raptors are the best team in the NBA. They're giving Leonard rest when he needs it. The organization and fans are giving Leonard the respect and support he didn't get from the San Antonio Spurs - which led to his trade request.
It's only December, but you get the feeling that the Raptors don't have much more to offer Leonard. Now, they can only cross their fingers and hope that he'll avoid free agency and re-sign here in July.
But according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Real GM), the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be the favorites for Leonard when free agency rolls around.
"They can't change the geography. They can't change the weather in Toronto. Those were always be things against them in this, Wojnarowski said. "Home and L.A. has been the focus for Kawhi Leonard through all of this."
The Clippers have been heavily mentioned as the favorites to land Leonard, who apparently has the desire to play for his hometown team. It's been said that he doesn't want to play alongside LeBron James, meaning a move to the Los Angeles Lakers is extremely unlikely.
There are plenty of incentives for Leonard to join the Clippers, other than the fact that they play in a big market and in his hometown. They have the cap space to sign two free agents to max deals this summer, so Leonard could recruit another star to build a super team. On top of that, the Clippers are sitting pretty at 17-11, so he'd be joining a team that's already in contention.
What This Means
Other analysts have said that nobody knows what Leonard is thinking right now. He's one of the most quiet players and hasn't offered any hints on his future.
That being said, some folks point out that the Oklahoma City Thunder convinced Paul George to stay, when it was rumored for an entire year that he would join the hometown Lakers.
There is still plenty of time for Leonard to decide if he wants to stay with the Raptors or join the hometown Clippers. For now, Toronto fans just need to focus on the season, then wait for his decision when July rolls around.