In 2019, Kawhi Leonard brought the Toronto Raptors their first-ever championship in franchise history. Of course, like any championship, it was a team effort. But Kawhi Leonard was the superstar that managed to push them over the top after years of failures in the playoffs. That was also his first championship as the leading superstar on a team, and he showed the world that he was an elite two-way superstar and No. 1 scoring option.
Unfortunately for the Toronto Raptors and their fans, Kawhi Leonard ended up leaving in free agency to join the Los Angeles Clippers. However, it seems as though he still appreciated his time there, as well as the love he got from the Toronto fans. During a recent TSN broadcast of the Toronto Raptors preseason game against the Houston Rockets, popular artist Drake revealed that Kawhi Leonard misses the fans and the city of Toronto, and was "grateful" for his time there.
One thing about Kawhi that I can tell the people: whenever I see him, he expresses the utmost gratitude and always says how much he misses the fans and the city. That's my guy honestly, he's really grateful for his time here, and we definitely miss him for sure.
It was rumored at the time of Leonard's 2019 free agency that the Toronto Raptors were the favorites to sign him, though obviously, that didn't end up materializing. It's understandable that Kawhi Leonard elected to go home to California. Free agency doesn't come around often, and Kawhi Leonard made the best personal choice for himself, even if he hasn't managed to win in Los Angeles as he has in Toronto.
The Toronto Raptors are now entering a post-championship rebuild, with Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard now both on other franchises. They still have Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet on the roster though, as well as some promising players such as Scottie Barnes (2021 No. 4 pick) and Gary Trent Jr. Hopefully, we see the Raptors return to being competitive sooner rather than later, and they definitely have some very good players on their roster.