Fred VanVleet said there is nothing more the Raptors can do to convince Kawhi Leonard to stay in Toronto, but he and teammates hope he'll be back.

By Charlotte Carroll
June 16, 2019

Fred VanVleet said there is nothing more the Raptors can do to convince Kawhi Leonard to stay in Toronto, but he and teammates hope he'll be back.

Leonard, fresh off an NBA Finals win over the Warriors and an NBA Finals MVP award, is expected to op out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent this summer. 

At the team's first media availability after the big win Thursday, VanVleet said the franchise has done everything it can to convince Leonard to stay.

"I think for us, there is nothing more that we can do," VanVleet said. "We've done it. The city has done it. This franchise had done it. The coaches have done it. My teammates have done it. We've done our job. The best way to recruit somebody is to just be yourself over the course of the year, and I would assume that he knows what is here and what makes this place special.

"If it's enough then it's enough. If it's not then it's not. ... We would all love for him to be back and if he's not then we will move on from there. It's not the biggest deal in the world. He came here and did what he was supposed to do. So he brought this city a championship and I think he has earned his freedom and his career to do what he wants to do and we'll all respect him and admire him."

But after, VanVleet joked that if Leonard is on a different team, "then we just have to kick his ass next year."

Leonard averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season.

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