Kyle Lowry on Kawhi Leonard Free Agency: I've Never Been a Guy to Pitch Anything

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 14, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: Kyle Lowry #7 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors pose for a portrait with the Larry O'Brien Trophy after winning Game Six of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

One day after Kawhi Leonard helped lead the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA championship, his free agency has become a hot topic of discussion.

In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols on The Jump, Kyle Lowry explained why he won't pressure Leonard to re-sign with Toronto. 

"I've never been a guy to pitch anything to anybody," Lowry said. "[Kawhi's] going to make a decision on himself, and I'm going to be happy for whatever decision he makes. At the end of the day, he helped get what I wanted to get."

Leonard can become a free agent June 30 by opting out of the deal that will pay him $21.3 million next season. 

The Raptors' bold move to acquire Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs with one guaranteed year remaining on his contract worked to perfection. He was named MVP of the 2019 NBA Finals after averaging 28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals in six games against the Golden State Warriors

Despite that success, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday on SportsCenter that the Los Angeles Clippers are at the top of Leonard's list of potential landing spots, and the Raptors "still have work to do" before free agency starts at 6 p.m. ET at the end of the month. 

Lowry was able to adjust his play to accommodate the arrival of Leonard. His average of 14.2 points per game during the regular season was his lowest mark since 2010-11, but he had a career-high 8.7 assists per contest. 

In the decisive Game 6 against the Warriors, Lowry was able to exorcise his playoff demons by scoring 26 points and dishing out 10 assists. 

No matter what Leonard decides to do, Lowry's resume includes a championship thanks to the partnership the pair were able to forge in just one season together. 

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