Could Kawhi Leonard end up in Toronto?

Could Kawhi Leonard end up on the Toronto Raptors?

It's certainly not out of the question.

With recent news percolating through the NBA media sphere that the team has now become favorites to land Leonard among some oddsmakers, and observations afoot that certain members of the Raptors are wiping mention of the team from social media, it could be that the best laid plans of a sneaky offseason move might just be in the works.
Would the move make sense?

From Toronto's perspective? I think so. They have, much like the Boston Celtics, two cores to work with, albeit a significant step down, given the "win-now" crew is almost a half-decade older. They have the guys to make a real run at the NBA Finals under new coach Nick Nurse, said to be the main force behind the switch in style that propelled the team to regular-season success.

Taking a gamble on Kawhi would make sense for them, as clearing the books if a Leonard experiment underperforms is probably the smartest move, opening up playing time for the very capable younger core that gave Toronto the best bench in the league last season (yes, technically Boston's was better, but mostly because they stopped being the bench five minutes into the season).
Shipping out Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan for Leonard with a pair of their own firsts, maybe one the season after Kawhi's deal is up, and another further along, would be a solid haul for a team (the San Antonio Spurs) looking to rebuild on the fly, taking advantage of the last years Gregg Popovich's tenure. Throw in a pick swap and some seconds for good measure, and I think both sides could walk away happy.

Any such move would probably elevate the Raps to around Boston's expected level, and with the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks looking poised to make some noise next season, the East might end up a lot tougher of an out than many have suggested in recent weeks.

For more stories by Justin, click here.

Image: Eric Gay/AP
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn