Kawhi Leonard
Nick Nurse doesn’t blame Kawhi Leonard for leaving the Raptors (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

After winning a championship with the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard pretty much could do whatever he wanted this offseason and no one could criticize him. Not even Raptor fans could really have anything bad to say about the guy. He delivered a championship. That’s all that matters.

Leonard’s former head coach, Nick Nurse doesn’t seem mad about Kawhi’s decision to bolt for the Clippers. Not a bit. Again, how could you be?

“I think you can’t blame a guy for wanting to go home,” Nurse said Saturday night at the Las Vegas Summer League. “That’s what he texted me today. ‘I’m going home.’ And I just said, ‘You’ve changed a lot of lives, man, by what you’ve accomplished in Toronto. Mine especially.’ And thanked him for what he did, and we’ll look to the future, and we’ll look to [win a title] again.”

I just talked about this on my podcast (That’s Some Cheese) Kawhi Leonard has a pathway to becoming the greatest player in NBA history. He won a title with an old Spurs team. Then made LeBron James mentally quit and bolt from Miami. He told Gregg Popovich to f*ck off. A bold strategy. Who leaves the Spurs and gets better? Well, Leonard did and won a title all in one shot. Barring major injury, this Clippers team is on a Golden State type of run waiting to happen. If Leonard cashes in on the next two titles, how can he not be in the running? He has my vote for GOAT if that happens.

Now it’s time for the Raptors to rebuild. The sky isn’t totally falling but at the same time, it is falling. Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam are real building blocks. Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, well, not so much. Masai Ujiri has shown he’s a very competent GM. I’m sure Toronto will be back eventually, just not now. What we do know is it looks like the Raptors hit a home run with the Nick Nurse hire. Nurse looks like a star coach on the rise.