HEADLINE

Raptors president Ujiri confident team can sign Leonard

Field Level Media

June 25, 2019 at 5:24 pm.

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri said Tuesday he has met with Kawhi Leonard, who is days away from becoming a free agent, and is confident the NBA champions can re-sign the superstar.

Speaking at a season-ending news conference, Ujiri said he had “very good meetings with him the last few days” but declined to elaborate.

Wherever Leonard, who turns 28 on Saturday, chooses to sign, the Raptors “will respect his decision,” Ujiri said.

Ujiri’s words came amid numerous reports that Leonard has scheduled a meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers for July 2. The Clippers long have been considered a front-runner to sign Leonard, a Southern California native.

One person staying put with the Raptors is Ujiri. Other teams expressed an interest in him — the Washington Wizards reportedly were set to make him a lucrative offer to run the team — but he said he is happy in Toronto.

“For me it’s always been about Toronto,” he said. “I love it here, my family loves it here, my wife loves it here.

“For me the blessing is being wanted here and finding a place that makes you happy and finding challenges that really make you grow as a person. And this place has made me grow as a person and I identify with this place and I love it, so in my mind I’m here.”