Kawhi Leonard is officially set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of June and he is reportedly torn between re-signing with the NBA champion Toronto Raptors or heading back to Cali to play for the Los Angeles Clippers.
A recent report suggests that the two-time NBA Finals MVP is “seriously considering” returning to Toronto, but that won’t stop the recruiting efforts from title-starved Clips fans. For example, a pair billboards have gone up over Interstate 5 in Downey, about 10 miles southeast of Staples Center, encouraging the Southern California native to leave the North.
One of the billboards features an image of a California license plate personalized to read “KAWHI,” with the hashtag #ClipperNation, while the other bears an image of Kawhi from his New Balance ad along with the text, “King of SoCal,” and the hashtag #KAWHI2LAC. According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, a source says “the Clippers knew nothing” about the billboards.
Leonard, 27, is eligible to sign a five-year, $190 million “supermax” contract with the Raptors, while other teams, like the Clippers, can offer a max of four-years, $140.6 million. The three-time All Star averaged 26.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in the regular season while leading Toronto to its first NBA title.