Raptors GM Masai Ujiri: Kawhi Leonard has 'a fire inside of him' after trade

By Kirstie Chiappelli 20 September 2018 173
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri: Kawhi Leonard has 'a fire inside of him' after trade

Kawhi Leonard's silence shouldn't be mistaken for sorrow.

Despite having yet to address the media since making his arrival in Toronto, Raptors president Masai Ujiri said the star forward is "happy and healthy" and embracing his new city.

"He is determined and seems in the right frame of mind," Ujiri said, via The Associated Press. "You will be hearing from him shortly. I think there is a fire inside of him and we are all excited about that."

As for adjusting to the new addition, Ujiri is insistent that Leonard won't receive special treatment when the team opens training camp in Vancouver next week.

"There is nothing we are going to do different. We are going to be ourselves. I think the situation with him in San Antonio, which I don’t want to talk about because I don’t know much about it, but he’s a quiet kid," Ujiri said.

"That’s his nature. We can’t all be the same kind of people. But he is as engaging as he would want to be and he’s very interesting. There is no maintenance with him. There are no tons of people around him. His (focus) is on basketball which is what you want. He is a basketball junkie."

Leonard tried to engineer a trade to the Lakers this offseason, but instead was sent to Toronto along with Danny Green in July.

Despite reports that suggested Leonard wasn't thrilled about playing north of the border, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year revealed last month he could entertain the idea of re-signing with the Raptors should his stint get off to a good start.

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Kirstie Chiappelli

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