1. Will Leonard re-sign with the Raptors?
The good news was the Raptors became perennial playoff contenders over the last few seasons. The bad news was they were eliminated by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in each of the last three seasons.
So despite finishing the 2017-18 campaign with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors fired Dwayne Casey, who was named Coach of the Year. Not only that, but they also acquired Leonard and Green in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, center Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first round pick.
This was considered a somewhat risky move, considering that Leonard was coming off a quad injury that limited him to just nine games with the Spurs in 2017-18. Despite missing an additional 22 games this season, the move turned out to be just what the Raptors needed to get over the hump.
Leonard reached the 30-point plateau 14 times during the postseason and he delivered a game-winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the playoffs that will go down as one of the greatest moments in Raptors playoff history.
During Toronto’s postseason run, all Leonard did was average 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals per contest on .490/.379/.884 shooting splits.
In the six-game set against the Warriors, he topped 30 points three times while posting averages of 28.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks per outing. Based on the numbers, it came as a shock to no one that he was named Finals MVP.
Toronto has done all it can to show Leonard how valuable he is to the team. President of basketball operations Masai Ujiri stated the reason the Raptors traded for him was because they felt he is the best player in the league.
The Raptors also surrounded Leonard with players that complemented his skill-set and allowed him to take off games during the season as needed so he could deliver when it mattered the most: The gamble paid off big time.
Whether Leonard stays or goes remains to be seen. What can’t be debated is that he played a key role in delivering Toronto its first ever NBA title and cemented himself as one of the best two-way players in the league.