- Go To Brand : We The North Toronto Raptors
• Today’s discussion question: If the Toronto Raptors bow out to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference final and lose Kawhi Leonard in the off-season will this year have been worthwhile?
It’s an interesting one. Last summer, the Raptors and GM Masai Ujiri went all in for Leonard and the superstar has created an unprecedented level of excitement for the franchise. He also gave the team its defining moment when his Hail Mary fell in Game 7 of the Eastern semis against Philadelphia.
But if he leaves for L.A. this summer, he essentially guts the Raptors, unless you think a team built around 33-year-old Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam can contend for a championship. It’s been a great run for the Raps and you’re hard-pressed to fault Ujiri for this bold move. But it’s going to be an empty feeling around Toronto if they can’t sign Leonard.
It’s a similar story in San Jose where the Sharks loaded this team for a Stanley Cup run, trading for Erik Karlsson and others for one shot at The Grail. That also created great excitement in NorCal, especially when the Sharks were getting every break in the books.
But they now look like a spent force against a good-but-not-great Blues team. Not sure what the eternal lesson is for either the Raptors or Sharks other than to reinforce just how difficult it is to chase a championship.