Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has expressed understanding for why Kawhi Leonard chose to sign with the Clippers this offseason after leading Toronto to its first-ever NBA championship.
"I think you can't blame a guy for wanting to go home," Nurse said during an interview Saturday night at the NBA's Summer League in Las Vegas. "That's what he texted me today. 'I'm going home.' And I just said, 'You've changed a lot of lives, man, by what you've accomplished in Toronto. Mine especially.' And thanked him for what he did, and we'll look to the future, and we'll look to [win a title] again."
Leonard, who grew up in Southern California and attended San Diego State University, is signing with the Clippers on a four-year, $141 million deal. He chose the franchise over the Raptors and Lakers, who both met with Leonard ahead of his decision.
It was reported that the Clippers' acquisition of Paul George in a trade with the Thunder ultimately convinced Leonard to sign with Los Angeles. Prior to his lone season in Toronto, Leonard played seven seasons with the Spurs.