Should Toronto Raptors fans be excited about Paul George’s comments?

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leoanrd (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leoanrd (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Paul George’s comments about a conversation he shared with Kawhi Leonard have caused a stir recently. Should Toronto Raptors fans be excited about the comments George made?

As all Toronto Raptors fans are aware, there is an impending decision looming over the franchise this season and heading into free agency: the future of Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard is a free agent at the end of the season, with his future still unknown, Raptors fans are looking for any sign of reassurance that Leonard could well stay beyond this postseason. That remains unclear, but it hasn’t stopped one of the NBA’s top stars shedding some light on the situation.

Following the Toronto Raptors 123-114 overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, Josh Lewenberg of TSN reported that Paul George had had a conversation with Kawhi Leonard about his own experiences as an impending free agent on a new team last season.

Eventually, as we now all know, Paul George elected to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder, signing a 4-year, $137million contract with a player option on the fourth year of his deal.

The idea that Paul George has shared his experiences with Leonard is tantalizing, especially considering the outcome of the sage. George, like Kawhi, was touted to head back to L.A. to join his hometown team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Now, Kawhi Leonard is obviously a free-thinking human being, just like everyone else. But if he were to be worried about re-signing with an “out of market” team like the Toronto Raptors, he should take comfort in the decision Paul George made.

George went against conventional wisdom and took the approach of being loyal to the team that took a chance on him, and one can only hope that he offered up the same advice to Kawhi Leonard.

The Toronto Raptors have been patient with Kawhi Leonard, who only played nine games last season due to a degenerative knee issue that occurred in the 2017 playoffs. The break-up that followed with the San Antonio Spurs was messy and Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors, even with the reports that Leonard would not stay past this season.

When asked what advice George gave Leonard, he said, “That’s between us”, but it’s fair to assume that George could only have glowing words for sticking with the team that took a chance on him and has done everything within its powers to make life easier for Leonard this season, much like Oklahoma City with Paul George last season.

Each situation is different, obviously, but Paul George’s experiences during the past two years haven’t been too dissimilar from those of Kawhi Leonard, so maybe fortune will favor the brave once again.

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Allow yourselves to dream a little, Toronto Raptors fans. There could well be a fairy tale ending to this story.