The Toronto Raptors made the biggest move in franchise history by acquiring superstar Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs, but the move did come with one major risk.
Leonard can opt out of his contract next year and enter the free agent market, and most reports suggest that he has a desire to sign with the hometown Los Angeles Clippers or Lakers.
Leonard's decision to either stay in Toronto or sign elsewhere will shift the organization's landscape, and fans up north can only hope that he loves the city and invests his long-term future with the Raptors.
But there is some good news for Raptors fans. Danny Green, who was packaged with Leonard in the trade to Toronto, believes that his teammate will fall in love with the city.
"I don't know where his mind is at for the future. I can't predict or tell you. I can just tell you that the city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there," Green said on his own "Inside the Green Room" podcast, via Wael Saghir of TheScore.com. "I've been going every summer for the past 10-plus years. It's a great city and the fans are amazing.
The Raptors hired Jeremy Castleberry, Leonard's close friend, to join their coaching staff. Fans also got excited in hearing that Leonard bought a new home in Toronto, adding more hope that he's planning to stay here long-term.
There's another thing working for the Raptors when it comes to keeping Leonard. They're the only team that can offer him the maximum five-year, $190 million contract. The most another team could offer Leonard would be a four-year, $141 million deal.
Toronto is coming off a franchise record 59-win season, but the Cleveland Cavaliers swept them in the second round of the postseason. With LeBron James taking his talents to the Lakers, the Raptors, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are widely considered to be the three contenders in the Eastern Conference.
If the Raptors can embark on a deep playoff run, and if Leonard learns to love the city as much as Green does, perhaps he'll re-sign for the maximum. That's all Raptors fans can hope for right now.