Toronto Raptors: Kawhi Leonard season preview

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 27: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives against Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs during the first half of a game at the Smoothie King Center on January 27, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Expectations for Leonard this season

After missing all but nine games last season Leonard should come out of the gates hungrier than ever. In his last healthy season, he competed with Russell Westbrook and James Harden for the rights to be named MVP.

Last year should not be kept as a benchmark for Leonard, he should look to forget about what happened in San Antonio and look towards the future. While I know its a big ask but Leonard should aim to replicate his 2015-16 season.

With Leonard joining a strong Raptors team he won’t be needed to score as often as he did in 2016, but, I would like to see him regain his old form of Defensive Player of the Year.

Leonard should also look to be a leader in the Raptors locker room, specifically with OG who has been touted as the next Kawhi. If Leonard can play a mentor’s role and properly help grow OG’s game it could become something wonderful. Imagine having not one but two Kawhi Leonards running around the court – what a sight that would be.

Next. Predicting the Raptors starting lineup next season. dark

All in all, there’s going to be a lot of outside pressure from the media and fans for the Raptors to find instant success. After having traded away DeRozan, fans won’t be content with anything other than


dominance of a LeBron-less Eastern Conference.