OAKLAND, Calif. — Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri understood the risk when he traded for Kawhi Leonard last offseason.
He knew Leonard could leave after just one season and perhaps have nothing to show for it. But over the course of his career, Ujiri has developed a reputation as a bold and shrewd front-office executive.
The move, yeah, it was worth it, even if Leonard leaves the Raptors this offseason.
The Raptors are NBA champions for the first time in the franchise’s 24-year history, and Leonard is a Finals MVP for the second time in his career.
He joins LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to win Finals MVP with two teams.
Kawhi Leonard on the trade that brought him to Toronto and the road back from injury that led to a title with the Raptors #NBAFinalspic.twitter.com/RzfYGc5z6n
Leonard had 22 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in Toronto’s 114-110 series-clinching victory in Game 6 on Thursday.
It wasn’t his best game, but it was typical Leonard — calm, focused and relentless offensively and defensively.
Leonard averaged 28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, two steals and 1.2 blocks against Golden State and scored at least 30 points in three of the six games.
Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.
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