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Kawhi Leonard says he has an "open mind" regarding his future with the Raptors

GiveMeSport | Updated: 2018-09-25 22:45:11

Kawhi Leonard insists his only focus is on the season ahead and not his future with the Toronto Raptors. 

The small forward spoke publicly for the first time since securing a trade away from the San Antonio Spurs at the team's media day on Monday. 

The 27-year-old will be a free agent next summer and it's widely believed that he has his heart set on a move back to his hometown of Los Angeles. 

But Leonard refused to be drawn on his future and claimed that he's happy to be a Raptor. 

"I want to play here," Leonard said, per ESPN. "I came in with an open mind. I want to do great things ... focus on this year.

"If you're looking toward the future, you're going to trip over the present."

Taking a risk

Toronto chose to take a huge gamble on the small forward and gave up DeMar DeRozan as part of the deal to acquire him. 

There's every chance that the two-time Defensive Player of the Year chooses to leave in free agency but they were prepared to take that risk. 

President Masai Ujiri has already stated that they will spend the entire season looking to sell the superstar on their culture and the city. 

The two-time All-Star's relationship with the Spurs broke down last season over the management of his quad injury that forced him to miss all but nine games last year. 

This led to Kawhi asking to be traded in the offseason as he believed that the damage couldn't be repaired. 

At his press conference, he was asked what went wrong but chose not to reveal too much. 

"I have no regrets. But I want to focus on this team, this journey that we have in front of us today, and just stay in the present time, and not look back," he said. 

In terms of his health, the former Finals MVP claims he feels great and is looking forward to the new campaign. 

Regarding his move to Toronto, he said he's excited to be "coming to a great city that loves basketball."

The addition of the NBA champion - as well as Danny Green - makes the Raptors serious contenders in the east. 

If Leonard is able to get back to his best, they'll have a great chance to make the finals. 

What the Raps can achieve on the court this season will certainly play a huge part in their chances of keeping him long-term.

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