Report: Kawhi going to Toronto with an open mind about staying long term

Mark Sobhani / National Basketball Association / Getty

With the possibility of Kawhi Leonard walking away for nothing next summer, the Toronto Raptors still traded for the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and took a calculated risk.

But despite rampant rumors that Leonard will decamp for his hometown of Los Angeles if he opts out of the final year of his contract in 2019, he reportedly intends to give the Raptors every chance to make the union work.

"Based off of me talking to people within his circle ... they're going to go into this thing with an open mind and give this thing every last opportunity to work," Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News told TSN 1050's Overdrive. "Obviously, I think part of his mind, yes, let's keep real, I think he still feels like L.A. might be the destination ... at the same time, he plans to go into this thing with an open mind."

Leonard has long been one of the NBA's quietest superstars, and he rarely courts attention through mainstream or social media. He's said little publicly since the blockbuster July 18 deal that sent him from the San Antonio Spurs to Toronto alongside Danny Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a heavily-protected first-round pick.

The circumstances of his departure from San Antonio partly fuels the perceived drama attached to Leonard. He played only nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18 due to a severe quad injury. During a public disagreement with the Spurs' medical staff over his treatment, reports flew that his representation - led by Leonard's uncle, Dennis Robertson - intended to get him into a large U.S. media market.

This week, the Raptors hired Leonard's close friend Jeremy Castleberry as a player development coach. Castleberry was later photographed alongside Leonard, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Raptors assistants John Corbacio and Phil Handy at a summer workout.

Report: Kawhi going to Toronto with an open mind about staying long term
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