Kawhi Leonard traded to Raptors; Spurs receive DeMar DeRozan
By Rob Wolkenbrod
The San Antonio Spurs have sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for players and a draft pick.
After six months of reports on Kawhi Leonard’s discontent with the Toronto Raptors, it seems the drama between he and the San Antonio Spurs has ended. Leonard and Danny Green will go North of the border for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
For the Spurs, this ends the standoff between them and Leonard and their attempt to keep him in the Alamo City. The five-year, $221 million supermax contract did not work, so the organization found what they perceived to be their best offer and moved in another direction.
The Raptors take on Leonard, who they must convince to stick around past the 2018-19 season. He owns a player option for 2019-20, which can be used towards receiving a lucrative multi-year contract in free agency.
Green’s inclusion also ends his eight-year stay with the Spurs. He opted into his $10 million salary for the 2018-19 season in June.
As for the return package, the Spurs receive DeRozan, a multi-time All-Star that has contributed towards Raptors teams that finished near the top of the Eastern Conference. He most recently had 23 points and 5.2 assists in the 2017-18 season.
Poeltl provides the Spurs with young big-man depth behind Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, both of whom are over 30. Gasol is nearing 40, however, and has a partially guaranteed contract for the 2019-20 season, so the team potentially acquired insurance for this.
Wojnarowski added the protection details on Toronto’s 2019 first-round pick. It will be 1-20, but after one year it becomes two second-round picks.
Source: Toronto's first-round pick to San Antonio is protected 1-20. After one year, it becomes two second-round picks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018
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The Spurs and Raptors connected on the blockbuster trade of the NBA offseason, putting a bow on the Leonard saga that began with a quadriceps injury. Now, for the Silver and Black, it’s about the future of the organization.