Warriors

NBA rumors: Kawhi Leonard 'seriously considering re-signing' with Raptors

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NBA rumors: Kawhi Leonard 'seriously considering re-signing' with Raptors

The Kawhi Leonard-Toronto Raptors marriage might not be a one-year fling after all.

Yahoo's Chris Haynes reported Sunday that the 2019 NBA Finals MVP will decline his $21.3 million player option for the 2019-20 season, but that Leonard is "seriously considering re-signing with the Raptors."

Most experts have been predicting that Leonard will bolt Toronto for one of the Los Angeles teams. But Haynes' reporting changes things a bit.

Haynes also reported that rival front-office executives view the Raptors as the favorites to land Leonard.

The Raptors can offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract, according to Haynes.

[RELATED: Curry vows to not let Warriors' run end]

While the Warriors likely aren't in the mood for any Kawhi-related news, considering he just ended their bid for a three-peat, they have to be excited at the thought of Leonard not joining the Pacific Division.

Leonard put on a dominating performance against the Warriors in the NBA Finals, as he averaged 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds over the six games.

NBA scout unsure about D'Angelo Russell, won't be surprised if he peaked

NBA scout unsure about D'Angelo Russell, won't be surprised if he peaked

Newly-acquired Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell entered the NBA as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here are his stats from his first four seasons:

-2015-16 = 13.2 points, 3.3 assists, 41.0 percent overall, 35.1 percent from deep
-2016-17 = 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, 40.5 percent overall, 35.2 percent from deep
-2017-18 = 15.5 points, 5.2 assists, 41.4 percent overall, 32.4 percent from deep
-2018-19 = 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, 43.4 percent overall, 36.9 percent from deep

That's a pretty nice trajectory. But one Eastern Conference scout is not sold on Russell.

"I don't know if he's really that good," the scout told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. "Everything went right for him. I wouldn't be surprised if last season is the best one he ever has."

This scout isn't the only person in the basketball world who feels this way. But there also are those who believe the 23-year-old can be even better moving forward and will see improved efficiency playing alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green (and eventually Klay Thompson).

It's safe to assume that Russell is aware he has doubters. He also knows that some people are doubting the Warriors, and think the Dubs will miss the playoffs or struggle to make the postseason.

[RELATED: Warriors didn't sign Russell just to trade him, Myers says]

These opinions do provide extra motivation.

"For sure. For sure," he told NBC Sports Bay Area at Summer League in Las Vegas. "I think we got a good group of guys that can really make some noise."

Russell's two-time NBA MVP teammate agrees.

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Golden State Warriors Summer League Grades

Golden State Warriors Summer League Grades

The Golden State Warriors entered the Las Vegas Summer League with an abundance of necessary curiosity.

With three draft picks and a second-year player on the roster - combined with the uncertainty surrounding the team - the offseason tournament provided a glimpse of what to expect from its young core in the upcoming season. 

Now, with Summer League wrapped up, here are the final grades for four important young Golden State's participants. 

Jordan Poole

The 2019 first-round draft pick struggled with his shot during the California Classic, making just four of his first 20 attempts through three games. However, he picked up his scoring output in Vegas, averaging 17.8 points, including a 12-point performance against Denver, helping Golden State overcome a 17-point deficit. 

Poole also showed an ability to make plays, throwing a variety of behind-the-back passes, often getting teammates involved in the offense. If Poole can continue his upward offensive trajectory, he can compete for minutes on the floor. 

While Poole showed flashes of potential, he did have some low points. Though he averaged 2.3 steals in Vegas, he struggled to get around switches, something that hindered him in college. In addition, despite the scoring outbursts, he shot just 40 percent from the field over his final four games. 

Final Grade: B- 

Jacob Evans

Evans entered the Summer League hoping to reverse the ills of a disappointing rookie season. In his second Summer League appearance, he seemed to do that, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds. 

With Shaun Livingston no longer on the roster, Evans will have primary ball-handling responsibility when Stephen Curry and D'Angelo Russell are not on the floor. In Vegas, Evans played a lot of time at point guard and sometimes struggled against heavy ball pressure. Nonetheless, he showed an improved midrange game that could suit him well during his sophomore season. 

Grade: B

Eric Paschal 

Lauded for his shooting, Paschal impressed during the California Classic, shooting 61 percent from the field, including an 18-point, 6-of-8 performance in a loss to the Lakers. 

Golden State remains high on Paschal, despite the fact that he's a second-round draft pick, citing his toughness, IQ and defensive prowess as a reason he'll see playing time next season. 

Grade: B

Alen Smailagic

The 18-year-old showed a bevy of potential, with numerous highlight-reel dunks during Summer League. In four games in Vegas, he averaged 8.5 points, adding 5.0 rebounds in 22 minutes. 

For the Warriors, the Serbian is a long-term project worth an investment, evidenced by the fully guaranteed four-year, $4.3 million contract the team tendered last week.

In Vegas, Smailagic simultaneously showed why he's worth the contract while giving reminders of the work needed to get playing time. While he showed flashes with his dunks, he was frequently out of position for rebounds due to lack of strength.

Grade: C