Kawhi Leonard to Be Traded to Raptors for DeMar DeRozan

Kawhi Leonard Leaving Spurs

San Antonio shipped Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, ending a standoff of almost seven months of off-court drama for the Spurs. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported that the Raptors had completed a deal to acquire Leonard in a trade package that includes All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, but the other players involved had not yet been notified.

The Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade was an unexpected Wednesday morning blockbuster. Not only is Leonard considered unlikely to re-sign with Toronto as a free agent next summer, but he's also reportedly considering sitting out all of next season to avoid playing with the Raptors. Despite attempts by the Spurs - including a try by coach Gregg Popovich - to mend the relationship, Leonard and his camp have steadfastly maintained their distance as the offseason has worn on. Without a physical, it's tough to gauge whether Leonard is healthy enough to play now, or if he's over the issue that cost him 73 games last season.

There's just one problem: Leonard, by all indications, isn't exactly happy that the Spurs sent him to Toronto.

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The ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, DeRozan is one of 10 players in the league to average 20-or-more points in each of the last five seasons and has been named to three straight NBA All-Star teams.

Leonard, who is from Los Angeles, was a target of the Los Angeles Lakers, who added Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James earlier this month and have saved back salary cap money for free agents for 2019, potentially with an eye on Leonard. They don't know. And considering that Kawhi Leonard shares his feelings with nearly no one for public consumption, maybe he doesn't know what the future holds, now and going forward.

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The deal is risky for Toronto because, depending on what happens next summer, the Raptors may have given up their top scorer, DeRozan, for a one-year rental on Leonard. Negotiations between San Antonio and Toronto started to heat up about the trade two weeks ago, the sources said.

When the Raptors gave DeRozan a US$139-million contract before the 2016 season, it was an acknowledgement that they valued being a good team. They won a championship together in 2014.

The Raptors are coming off a No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history but have made a habit of disappointing in the playoffs.

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