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Report: Kawhi Leonard gives Raptors encouragement regarding his future next summer

GiveMeSport | Updated: 2018-08-23 19:50:11

The Toronto Raptors are prepared to do whatever it takes to make Kawhi Leonard feel at home with the franchise in the hope that he commits his long-term future to them next summer. 

The superstar got the trade he requested from the San Antonio Spurs but he wasn't sent to his preferred destination of Los Angeles. 

Instead, they shipped him - along with Danny Green - to the Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl. 

Leonard is still expected to head back to his hometown of L.A. next summer when he hits free agency but Toronto has already gone on the charm offensive to try and convince him to stay. 

Making him happy

They recently hired his close friend and former Spurs staffer Jeremy Castleberry to join head coach Nick Nurse's coaching staff. 

Castleberry worked with the two-time All-Star in San Antonio and played with him in high school and in college at San Diego State. 

This appointment certainly won't hurt their chances of keeping the small forward in Canada and the latest report surrounding his future will give them more encouragement. 

According to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, the 27-year-old will not rule out the possibility of re-signing with the Raptors.

"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," Young said.

"And at the end of the day, if that’s the case, then it would be great if he stays. 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, giving it every single shot in the world to make it work."

At this stage, having not played a game for Toronto yet, it's no surprise that moving back to California is still at the forefront of his mind as he's spending his offseason there. 

As recently as Wednesday, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year was pictured working out with LeBron James and Kevin Durant at UCLA.

But the Raps are hoping to have the same success that the Oklahoma City Thunder did when they convinced Paul George to re-sign this summer after he seemingly had his heart set on a move to Tinseltown. 

It may be a more difficult task with Leonard, however, but the fact that he's prepared to keep an open mind this early into his career with the franchise is already a positive sign. 

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