The Raptors are the even-money favorite to land Kawhi Leonard

The Raptors are the even-money favorite to land Kawhi Leonard

The Raptors are the even-money favorite to land Kawhi Leonard

Leonard can become a free agent after next season, and the general consensus seems to be that he will wind up with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Excluding the "field" option, the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers rank third and fourth on the list while the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are tied for fifth.

With tensions between Leonard and the Spurs reaching irreconcilable levels, the belief is that a trade back home to Los Angeles would be a welcome change for the former Finals MVP.

The shift in the odds could in part be linked to a recent report by The Washington Post's Tim Bontemps, which noted that the Raptors have "generated buzz" as a potential landing spot for Leonard. According to Keith Pompey of Philly.com, the "most realistic trade package" the Sixers could send to the Spurs includes Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and a future first-round pick. The Raptors seem to be on the verge of a rebuild just two to three years out, and may not be as concerned about that as other organizations, perhaps making them willing to take the risk of overpaying for a rental in order to try to convince him to stick around.

As Bontemps mentioned, though, acquiring Leonard would likely cost DeRozan or Lowry, the two stars that helped Toronto to the top seed in the Eastern Conference past year. It would make sense for the Lakers not to appear too urgent to get a deal done otherwise they sacrifice leverage in the negotiation.

The team is in talks with San Antonio to acquire the two-time all-star via a trade. When healthy, he is arguably the best two-way player in the game.

Both players are owed a lot of money over the next few seasons.

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs battles with Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors during an National Basketball Association game at the Air Canada Centre on December 09, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. All in all, it's not a bad deal and not a robbery by any means. Leonard's odds of starting the season with the Spurs are the same as his odds of playing for the Raptors in the season opener.

Related news