Leonard focused on finishing Finals run with Raptors, not free agency

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks on Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during second half action in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference final in Toronto on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Frank Gunn/CP)

With his Toronto Raptors just two wins away from a championship, Kawhi Leonard is only focused on the task at hand.

The Raptors star recently sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols where his pending free agency was discussed but if he’s to be believed then Leonard hasn’t given it a ton of thought lately.

“Obviously, you know what you want but I’m not thinking like, ‘Just because they did this and this I’m gonna re-sign,’” he said. “I’m not even thinking about signing or what team I’ma go to, I’m just focused on what’s in front of me right now and then once it’s over revisit everything.”

Leonard has been outstanding during this Raptors post-season run, averaging 30.9 points, nine rebounds and four assists while shooting 49.8 per cent from the field and 37.9 per cent from deep.

A big reason for this, Leonard told Nichols in the interview, was the load management program the Raptors training staff worked with him on during the regular season that saw him play just 60 games.

“It was big,” Leonard said of the Raptors’ willingness to work with him through his injury recovery process. “When it got bad we ended up taking four or five games off and if we didn’t do that I wouldn’t be here right now, for sure. The way we laid out the schedule was good. I’m happy. …

“I don’t think I’d be playing right now if I would’ve tried to go through the season.”

Though Leonard isn’t thinking about his prospective free agency, the Raptors are and have been since they first traded for him last July. Load management has been an obvious way the Raptors have tried to make Leonard happy and by the looks of things it’s worked to some degree.

Whether or not that’s enough to convince him to re-sign still remains anyone’s guess, however.

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