Toronto Raptors: Is Kawhi’s delayed process good or bad for Raptors?

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Kawhi Leonard has yet to make a decision regarding his future. Will his wait prove to be good or bad for the Toronto Raptors? 

NBA free agency is off to a hot start as many notable free agents have already made their decisions. However, there has not been much noise on the Toronto Raptors’ end.

The uncertainty surrounding Kawhi Leonard’s decision has made Raptors fans and analysts uneasy. In addition, it does not appear as though a decision is imminent:

While Leonard continues to wait it has made another question arise: “Is Kawhi Leonard’s delayed process good or bad for the Raptors?” 

Truthfully, it feels as though there is no concrete answer to this complex question. However, as day two of NBA free agency begins a few things come to mind.

Kawhi Leonard is at a career crossroads. He is coming off the best season of his career and his next decision could change everything. Leonard has earned the right to allow this process to drag out as long as possible.

The options at hand are well documented. He can join LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Los Angeles Lakers, sign with their near rivals the Los Angeles Clippers, or return to Toronto.

Leonard’s decision-making process hinges on a few key factors. Where does he want to spend the rest of his prime? Where does he feel he has the best chance to win? What is best for him and his family?

Taking the long and methodical approach is beneficial for all of his potential suitors. Should the 28-year old decide to rush into a decision, it could make things messy in the future.

For example, let’s say he rushed into returning to Toronto. If Leonard were to sour on playing for the Raptors he could try to force a trade. This may prove to be a huge problem for the team as it would tarnish their championship blueprint.

Another reason Kawhi’s wait is good for the Raptors is the abundance of first-day deals. On the opening day of free agency, almost every major star signed a deal. This means that there are now no more max-level players for a team like the Clippers to pair Leonard with.

The more star players that come off the board the easier it may be for the 28-year old to return to Toronto. You cannot sell a player on building a foundation around multiple All-Stars if there are none left to sign.

Allowing “the Klaw” the time to check all the boxes on his future destination is crucial. No team wants an unhappy star, especially on a max or supermax contract. For the Raptors, watching as the top free-agents sign elsewhere may actually help in their favor.

On the other side of the coin, Kawhi’s wait may also be detrimental to Toronto’s chances. One specific reason comes to mind.

NBA players have a tight-knit circle of influence. However, the longer the 28-year old holds out on his decision, the more time there is for people to influence him.

When all is said and done the decision will be Kawhi’s to make. However, the Raptors should be wary of leaving the window of outside influence open for too long.

Another player who has been intertwined in this ordeal is Danny Green. If Green departs Toronto before Leonard’s decision it could spell trouble for the Raptors.

A few uneasy nights of sleep may be on the horizon for those associated with the Toronto Raptors. However, letting Leonard take his time is not as bad as it may feel.

There are many boxes for the 28-year old to check off. The future of himself and his family rides on this decision.

Toronto’s silence during the matter is certainly interesting. Masai Ujiri is a very smart man. Perhaps the two parties know more than they are letting on. Just because the information isn’t being released from the Raptors camp doesn’t mean there isn’t anything happening.

If you are looking for a definitive answer to the question raised, here it comes. Kawhi Leonard’s wait will not be a bad thing for the Toronto Raptors.

Taking the proper measures to ensure he is making the right decision will be beneficial for both parties. Especially, in the case of the Raptors.

Next. Jimmy Butler going to the Miami Heat is good for the Raptors. dark

Should Kawhi stay the team has a ready-made core to get back to the finals. If Leonard leaves Toronto has enough time to re-tool through free agency or by trade. In addition, they have enough pieces to stay afloat in a now stacked Eastern Conference.

It is understandable that Raptors fans want Kawhi to make his decision as soon as possible. But, as the old saying goes: “Good things take time.” Only time will tell if Kawhi’s wait holds a positive or negative outcome for the Toronto Raptors.