Kawhi Leonard
#ClipperNation is viewed as the biggest threat to steal Kawhi Leonard away from the Raptors. How much does #WeTheNorth need to win come playoff time to keep him long term? (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Kawhi Leonard has taken the Raptors from playoff punching bags to… well we’ll see. The past 5 years, the Raptors were more like baby dinosaurs getting bullied in the postseason on an annual basis. Now that Kawhi Leonard is in town, the pressure is on. As the Raptors sit 48-20 and in 2nd place in the East on the season, Toronto needs to keep winning in order to keep their superstar.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News wrote a piece recently and explained that the Clippers are a serious threat to steal Leonard away this summer:

“Asked to handicap Leonard’s future, one front office executive from another team said, “I think the Lakers are out, but the Clippers are the ones who think they have a shot at him if they decide to go that route. You hear a lot, he still wants to be on the West Coast. But give that group in Toronto all the credit in the world. They’re making it a tough decision for him.

“It might come down to just, ‘All right, how did the playoffs go, and how far are we from a championship?'”

Kawhi is a weird dude. I don’t know how anyone could have a real understanding about what he’s going to do. You can start to put the pieces together though. Kawhi is from the West coast and is a warm weather cat. Remember this quote he gave during All-Star weekend?

“It’s a great city. There’s a lot to do. Um, it’s just been cold. The snow does look nice on days, but you just need a jacket to go outside. I’m not used to it, wearing boots and everything.

“But as far as the whole city, team, coaching staff, organization, fans, it’s been great.”

It’s a hell of a lot warmer in LA. Avoiding the cold isn’t really something you an do in Canada. Again, I don’t have a clue what this guy is going to do. His laugh has forever scarred me. If I had to put money on it, the Clippers have this one in the bag.