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Free Agency 2019

NBA Finals 2019: Fred VanVleet on Kawhi Leonard's impending free agency: 'We would all love for him to be back'

Fred VanVleet and Kawhi Leonard
(NBA Getty Images)

A couple of days after sealing the franchise's first-ever NBA championship, the Raptors were back in Toronto for their season-ending press conferences.

While the title celebrations are still ongoing, Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard's impending free agency was a hot topic of conversation.

Leonard averaged 28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.0 steals in the six-game series as he became the third player ever to win the Finals MVP award with two different franchises.

"We would all love for him to be back," said Fred VanVleet, the only player apart from Leonard to receive a vote for the Finals MVP.

"And if he's not, we'll move on from there. He brought this city a championship and I think he's earned his freedom."

Leonard is expected to generate plenty of interest around the league, with the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks all reportedly pursuing the two-time champion.

MORE: Lakers plan to pursue Kawhi in free agency

"There's nothing more we can do," VanVleet added. "We've done it, the city's done it, this franchise has done it, the coaches have done it, his teammates have done it. We've done our job. I would assume he knows what is here and what makes this place special"

Forward Pascal Siakam echoed those sentiments:

"All I can do is support him in whatever he wants to do and hopefully he can come back, but I'm going to let Kawhi do what Kawhi does," Siakam said.

He also had a lighter take on trying to recruit Leonard.

"I mean, except for all the free restaurants he can go to? The Ka'Wine and Dine? I even heard that somebody gave him a house or something? I mean, where's my house at?"

Danny Green, who was traded alongside Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs added that whatever decision Leonard comes to will no doubt have a ripple effect throughout the league as one of the major dominoes in free agency.

"His decision, not to be foolish here, impacts a lot of guys' decision cause he can change a whole organisation," Green said. "He can change a whole team. He can change a lot of guys' careers, make a lot of guys' careers easier. So, that decision weighs on a lot of other guys' free agency decision."

Siakam, Green and VanVleet with the rest of the Raptors will celebrate the first championship in franchise history with the city of Toronto on Monday (local time).

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