Chris Broussard on why Kawhi Leonard should see the Raptors as an ‘opportunity’

Video Details

FS1 analyst Chris Broussard talks on First Things First about Kawhi Leonard's chance to dominate the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors and Danny Green in the 2018-19 NBA season.

- Chris, any chance the Raptors can convince Kawhi to stay past this season?

- Only in the never say never sense, like, anything can happen type of sense. So practically speaking, there's virtually no chance. But what I'm told-- and if I'm Kawhi Leonard, I am ultra excited about this season. This is your-- take-- look at it as, one year in the East, I can go dominate that conference. I can get this team to the Finals. They won 59 games. And with me and Danny Green, we got better. We got better three-point shooting-wise. We got better defensively.

He should look at this as an opportunity to prove, in his mind, I'm the best player in the world. I can dominate the East like LeBron James did and lead my team to the Finals and, you know, see what we-- see what happens from there. So I'm sure he had a good meeting with Nick Nurse, the new coach, because from what I'm told, that's the attitude that Kawhi has. But I think it will be a one-year thing.

People act like if you go to the Finals, he can't leave. If he goes to the Finals, leads them to the Finals and plays well in that championship series, then he walks out in a blaze of glory. You know, that's better than leaving when you go to the second round and out. So I still think LA is front and center in his mind, Lakers, or maybe the Clippers. So I think it's a one-year rental, but they'll be really good this year.

- I would guess it's a one-year rental. But I can't find an NBA player that isn't blown away by going to Toronto. They're all like, man, you've ever been to Toronto?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Well, how many want to stay there? That's a different thing.

- Listen, I-- I-- but Kawhi's also a different cat now. And while you always think LA-- I'm from Southern California. I went to two schools. They weren't in Southern California because you do-- sometimes, you're like, man, I love that it's 75 and sunny every single day, but there is a difference to that lifestyle. And maybe the fact that everywhere LeBron goes, there's cameras and attention and he's not into that, maybe that's not his lifestyle. Maybe he does love it

Look, I think he's going to LA. I think he'll wear Laker uniform. The Lakers think he'll wear a Laker uniform. Most people in the NBA do. But I give it a better than you think chance because they did have the best record in the East, they are going to build around him, and they got a shot. They got an absolute shot. And it's-- instead of a recruiting visit, this is a, hey, come play here for a year. And if you don't want to stay, fine.

As for whether or not he had a great meeting with Nick Nurse or didn't, I have no reason to believe that Nick Nurse is lying. But I have no reason to believe the Nick Nurse is telling the truth. I think Nick Nurse is doing what's smart, which is, man, it was great. Never let anybody think it was anything other than great.

- But don't you think-- I mean, I was surprised-- Nick Nurse said he was surprised that he was asking so many questions-- where am I going to get the ball? How are you going to use me? Where are you going to put me within the offense? And Nick Nurse said, I went through all the different scenarios of how we could play pick and roll, coming up, pinned out, you know, the whole variety of things.

And Kawhi said, yeah, you're going to use all of those things. Don't you think that is a positive that Kawhi was so intent in asking exactly how he was going to fit in, rather than just showing up instead of talking?

- But just the fact that he was actually-- he was moving his mouth and words were coming out, I think, was probably pretty surprising to Nick. He was like, wow, he actually speaks. It wasn't-- he wasn't in the box and doing the mind thing.

Kawhi's a really bright guy. He's just different. He just-- he lets other people often do his talking about what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. But no one's ever said that Kawhi Leonard's a dope. And he knows, at some point, he has to take control of his career because you can't not play for a second season-- you know, play nine games in two years. And if you want to get the most money possible and the best situation possible, the best way to do it is go out and play.

And I have no reason to believe that Nick Nurse didn't offer up some ideas on where they want to use him. He probably said, hey, I'm open to ideas, as well. I think Kawhi Leonard could be-- could be the best player in the league, as you said, in the years to come as LeBron ages because he can be a small ball five. He was a center in high school. And he's the one guy who can actually score down there and not just be a perimeter player who has to learn to scroll down there. So I think there's a lot of things to take from it.