Kawhi Leonard, did you buy property in Toronto? ‘It didn’t happen yet, no.’
That’s an interesting word. An operative word, if you will.
Let’s reset the scene. Casting its massive shadow over these NBA Finals is the specter of free agency. Specifically, will Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard choose to stay with their teams or move on?
Leonard is on the verge of bringing the Raptors their first-ever championship and being named Finals MVP. The hope north of the border is that hardware — plus the way the franchise had a plan to keep him healthy all season, plus the fact they can offer him the most money — will get him to re-sign with Toronto, at least short term. But nobody knows what he’s really thinking. He sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, she asked him about his plans, and he gave a variant of the “I don’t really think about these things until the season is over” standard answer.
Then came the rumor that Leonard was buying property in Toronto. He already owns a home in Southern California — the Clippers have long been considered the heavy favorites by people around the league to land Leonard if he leaves the Raptors this summer — but why would he buy property in Toronto if he wasn’t staying?
Sunday, in advance of Game 5, Leonard was asked if he brought property in Toronto.
“No, it didn’t. It didn’t happen yet, no,” Leonard said.
There are a few ways you can read this. It could mean yet as in “I’m not doing that until I decide what I am doing this summer.” Or, it could mean yet as in “we’re in escrow, so no I haven’t bought it yet, but I plan to.”
Or, it could mean nothing at all.
Fans will read into it whatever they want, like a lot of Leonard’s vague statements.
No matter how difficult it is to imagine Leonard walking away from a title team.