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Kawhi Leonard Odds: Will the Klaw Be a Raptor After the Trade Deadline?

Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs
Will Kawhi Leonard last a full season in Toronto? Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire
  • Can the Raptors convince Kawhi Leonard to stay long term in Toronto?
  • The new-look Raptors are in the mix for a trip to the NBA Finals
  • What deal makes sense for Toronto at the deadline?

Does Kawhi Leonard want to be a Toronto Raptor? As a Raptors fan, you’ve had glimpses of hope. Like, seriously, when’s the last time you’ve seen Leonard smile?

Also, things apparently went amazing with his first meeting with head coach Nick Nurse.

So please, wild and crazy Raptors fans, don’t blame the kind folks at BetOnline, they’re just doing their jobs. But it has to be mentioned, right?

Kawhi Leonard Will be Traded by Raptors by Deadline

True False
+200 -300

A lot is riding on this one season.

If you’re betting false, then you must be anticipating a monster season in the 6ix.

And there’s plenty of reasoning behind that. This is a team that is coming off a franchise-best 59-win season. That’s a .720 winning clip! They were, by any metric, one of the best offensive teams in the NBA.

This is a team that is coming off a franchise-best 59-win season. That’s a .720 winning clip! They were, by any metric, one of the best offensive teams in the NBA.

They were only one of six teams to score more than 110 points a game, they were top six in assists, and top seven in field goal percentage.

And while their defense cratered down the stretch in the regular season, they finished with a top five defensive rating, were fifth in field goal percentage D, and they tied for sixth in the NBA in points allowed.

That’s legitimately good. And they run back essentially the same unit with Leonard replacing DeMar DeRozan.

Leonard is already in the discussion for one of the best defenders in NBA history, to go with a blossoming offensive game and a proven track record of delivering in the postseason. If he returns to form, then this team has a legit chance at competing for a spot in the NBA Finals.

That might be enough to keep him.

On the flip side, betting “true” is imagining a scenario where the Raps struggle early, and Leonard looks like a shell of his former self. Instead of being in the top four of the East, the Raptors are hovering around .500.

It’s January, and Leonard looks mostly disinterested, but shows enough skill as a reminder that he’s still capable of being that guy. The Toronto media, as they are wont to do, pick up on that vibe and pile on it. Tension rises. By the way, it’s not exactly a smooth transition thus far.

If you’re the Raptors, are the first 50 games a chance to gel and then make a real playoff push, or the time to cut the cord, deal him and take home a large bounty?

What if the Lakers offered Brandon Ingraham, Lonzo Ball and a draft pick?

Or the Clippers’ dangled their 2018 draft duo of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson, and future firsts?

Maybe the Celtics, in prime position to win a title, propose Jaylen Brown, the Memphis unprotected pick in 2021 AND next year’s Philly/Sacramento first rounder (top-1 protected)? The Raptors would be stocked with the young players and assets to be competitive for the next five years and beyond.

If you’re the Raptors, are the first 50 games a chance to gel and then make a real playoff push, or the time to cut the cord, deal him and take home a large bounty?

It will be a fascinating season up North, in either scenario.

Betting-wise, +200 seems mighty generous for a guy who lives and breathes the West Coast.

I’m banking on the risk-averse Raptors going big picture on this one and dealing Leonard before it’s too late.

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Born and bred in the West, Eric is a print and broadcast journalism graduate now based on the East Coast. He has been specializing in NBA and NFL odds and news with SportsBettingDime since 2017, and spends the majority of his free time convincing his wife to spend Sundays with him on the couch.