Earlier today, the unexpected happened. Well, I knew that it was happeneng, but I didn’t expect the team.
The San Antonio Spurs parted ways with Kawhi Leonard. They traded him, alongside Danny Green, to the Toronto Raptors. They will receive DeMar Derozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick in 2019.
At the start of the off-season, rumors started to circulate about Kawhi Leonard’s future with the San Antonio Spurs. The Cavaliers Celtics, Clippers, Lakers, and Sixers were all tied to trade rumors involving Kawhi Leonard. But, the Raptors were the ones to acquire Leonard.
Both teams announced earlier today. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said that negotiations between the Raptors and Spurs had been going on for two weeks. The deal also had several incarnations before both sides came to an agreement.
According to Chris Hayes of ESPN, DeMar Derozan met with the Raptors in Las Vegas during the summer league. Sources close to Derozan said that the Raptors assured him that they would not trade him. However, that was not the case.
DeMar Derozan had a post on Instagram Live that alluded to the situation.
“Be told one thing & the outcome another. Can’t trust em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing… Soon you’ll understand… Don’t disturb…”, Derozan said.
There seems to be reluctance on both sides (Derozan and Leonard). David Aldridge said that Kawhi Leonard’s camp made it clear that Kawhi didn’t want to go the the Raptors. Aldrige also said that Derozan is visibly upset with how the Raptors conducted business/the trade. But, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is welcoming Derozan with open arms.
“Kawhi is not going to stop being a great player. But we’re thrilled with DeMar. … To get back a proven NBA player and a proven All-Star, we have to be thrilled.” Popovich said.
Kawhi Leonard’s time with the Raptors was coming to an inevitable end. While he may not want to be in Toronto, he should take advantage of this new opportunity.