A high-stakes NBA postseason has come down to a matchup between two teams whose futures rest, in part, in the hands of two impending free agents — Kevin Durant with the Golden State Warriors and Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors.
Speculation about the futures of Durant and Leonard — who at various times have each been nominated as “Best Player in the NBA” in these playoffs — has played out all season long, but in the NBA Finals, their free agency decisions are front-and-center.
The NBA grapevine has suggested for most of the season that both players are goners this summer. Rumors have pointed to Durant leaving the Warriors, perhaps for the New York Knicks, while many believe Leonard, who was traded to the Raptors with little say in the matter, would like to move closer to home in southern California by joining one of the two Los Angeles franchises.
However, with the Finals taking twists and turns from game to game, so, too, rumors and speculation about their futures.
There was a belief that the Raptors needed an incredibly successful season to convince Leonard to stay in Toronto. Lo and behold, they won the Eastern Conference, with Leonard creating some all-time moments in the process.
As a result, there is a growing buzz that perhaps Leonard would stay in Toronto.
David Thorpe of TrueHoop reported that sources have said that Leonard would consider staying in Toronto, even on a short-term deal.
On Monday, Toronto sports radio host Michael Landsberg reported that he had heard that Leonard recently bought property in Toronto.
Of course, a real estate purchase does