There wasn't much the Raptors could have done to keep Kawhi. That much is certain.
After winning the Finals, and taking care of Leonard in the meantime, Toronto did just about everything they could have to keep their face in town. They lost him anyway, and now face the long, hard process of figuring out what comes next.
On Fox Sport's "First Things First," NBA analyst and insider Chris Haynes explained why the 2x Finals MVP was never going to re-sign with the franchise.
“I think that (Lakers) was the second option,” Haynes told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on Scoop B Radio. “I don’t think he was going back to Toronto…He doesn’t like the cold weather. I reported that a year ago. He wanted to be back home.”
Essentially, Kawhi wanted to be home more than he wanted to stay with the Raptors. In L.A., not only does he have hot weather, but he has the chance to win as well.
With Paul George and Doc Rivers, the team will be elite for years to come.
He gets the best of both worlds. How could the Raptors, even with as good as they were, ever hope to compete with that?