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August 22, 2019

Kawhi Leonard couldn’t sound more dull about free agency if he tried

February 10, 2019

Kawhi Leonard’s performance was disappointing at the Garden on Saturday – albeit in a victory for the Raptors – which is atypical from the All-Star.

But afterward in the locker room, he was in standard Leonard form while stonewalling questions about his free agency.

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“Just playing the season right now. Just talk to people, just see what I want to do,” Leonard said after the 104-99 win.

And what does he hope to glean from those people?

“I’m not talking about that right now. We’re going to get there,” added Leonard, who is from L.A. but has an influential uncle who lives in North Jersey. “I’m focused on this season. We can talk about the game.”

Leonard will become an unrestricted free agent after the season and has been most frequently linked to L.A. – whether with the Clippers or Lakers. However, the Raptors can offer the most money as the incumbent team and the two New York clubs – the Knicks and Nets – are prepped for a run at the two-way stud.

Kawhi Leonard. (Matt Slocum / AP)

After scoring 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting Saturday, Leonard was complimentary of the loyal Garden crowd.

“They still come out and support the team even with a losing record,” Leonard said. “That’s what you want I guess from an organization if you’re playing for them.”

The Raptors (41-16), meanwhile, are second in the Eastern Conference.

“It’s been fun,” he said. “We’re winning and we’re building something here to get to our goal.”

KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

The Knicks tied a franchise record with their 16th consecutive defeat Saturday but coach David Fizdale was left encouraged.

Why? His team fought in the second night of a back-to-back and the two rookies – Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox – were impressive.

“Great effort,” Fizdale said. “I’m seeing some kids start to grow.”

Robinson scored a career-high 15 points with three blocks in 23 minutes, perhaps his best performance of the season. Knox had 20 points in 40 minutes while being hounded by Leonard, a former Defensive Player of the Year.

“All of these things as we go through the year and see these guys getting a little bit better, a little bit better, a little bit better, I think the fans appreciate that,” Fizdale said.

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