The drama with the San Antonio Spurs finally ends with Kawhi Leonard traded to the Toronto Raptors, per Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal will see the Spurs swap Leonard for All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan. The Spurs will also send Danny Green to Toronto and receive Jakob Poeltl.
Spurs have agree to trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Trade call with league office is starting shortly.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018
Currently, DeRozan is the only player who has been informed of the trade, being notified by Raptors GM Masai Ujiri last night. This news came as a shock to DeRozan, who was reportedly told during Summer League that he was not in a position to be traded. He has expressed his distaste via his Instagram story:
Report: Kawhi Leonard traded to Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan
This trade comes off of the back of internal drama within the San Antonio organization, which saw Kawhi sit out the majority of last season, despite being medically cleared to play. On the Raptors side, this deal appears to be an effort to improve from the mediocrity which has plagued their last number of playoff runs. No word yet on the other assets being included in the trade.
Both Leonard and DeRozan had spent their entire careers with their respective teams until this point. Leonard won a championship with the Spurs in 2014 and was named Finals MVP. DeRozan leads the Raptors all-time in a plethora of categories.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out for both sides. A report from Chris Haynes said that Leonard has no interest in playing for the Raptors. This is similar to Sam Presti and Paul George a year ago. George seemed focused on playing for the Lakers before the trade to Oklahoma City. Presti had a year to change George’s mind and it paid off. Ujiri now has the same opportunity with Leonard.
This trade was also finalized in the middle of night as Wojnarowski and Haynes kept the world updated. Here’s another reminder that NBA Twitter can literally never sleep.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – JANUARY 14: Kawhi Leonard (R) of San Antonio Spurs in action during the NBA Game Mexico City between Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs at Arena Ciudad de Mexico, in Mexico City, Mexico on January 14, 2017. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)