After apparently investing in the Toronto housing market in September of 2018, Kawhi Leonard is now reported to have purchased a $13.3 million, 13 000 square foot home in Southern California. The news immediately threw a paroxysm of anguish through the Raptors’ fanbase on social media. Live look at Will Lou:
Y'all better still be Raptors fans next year when siakam and FVV are running a 30 win team I need this shit
— William Lou (@william_lou) January 24, 2019
The news prompted jokes about the literal apocalypse.
it's cool, the raps will sign bronny and zaire wade in the summer of 2034 when the southern united states is uninhabitable and canada is a tropical paradise
— Joe Wolfond (@joey_doubleyou) January 24, 2019
So what does it mean? The obvious answer is nothing. Leonard bought a house in Toronto after being traded here, which made sense. He is a rich man who can afford to own a house where he lives. Leonard is now buying a house just outside of San Diego (near where he grew up), which again could mean very little. Leonard played college ball at San Diego State, so a home near his old stomping grounds could be the sole reason for the purchase, regardless of proximity to Staples Center. Reports are that Leonard’s house is a few hours’ drive from Staples, so it’s not like he’s moving directly across the street from a potential future workplace.
The same logic that mellowed our joy when he bought a house in Toronto may well apply now; Leonard is a rich man who can afford to own a house close to home. It’s sunny, and it’s home, end of story. I’m not an odds-maker, but that’s probably the most likely scenario.
Still, the optics aren’t great. I’ve been to San Diego. It was between 32-35 degrees every day, and I didn’t spot a cloud once. It’s appealing to buy a house in the comforting climate of home, but at exactly the time that Toronto weather turns to the negative double-digits? That’s potentially suspicious. The house purchase is a pretty easy connect the dots; league rumours have continually pounded the idea that Leonard will play in Southern California next season, and now he bought a mansion there.
We just don’t know what it means, but we’re trying. That’s what’s unsettling. We interpret Leonard’s every move (exactly like clever journalists predicted would happen before the season), and 13 000 square feet leaves a lot of space for interpretation. So round and round we go.
At the very least, the ‘will he stay or will he go’ game has been extended another round. Of course, this game was always going to be played until July. There are no certainties about where Leonard will go next year other than the certainty that there will be a lot of false highs and lows on the road to finding out. We’ve now trawled the housing markets in two different countries trying to predict the future of the enigmatic Kawhi Leonard. Did you expect anything else?