Leonard goes to Raptors, DeRozan goes to Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors came to an agreement Tuesday on a trade involving All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Demar DeRozan.
The trade will ship Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors for DeRozan, center Jacob Poeltl, and a protected 1st round pick in 2019.
DeRozan, who has spent his first nine season with the Raptors, was displeased with the trade. On his Instagram story, he expressed his feelings stating how his former organization lied to him.
“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,” DeRozen said on his Instagram.
DeRozan has led the Raptors in scoring in each of the last five seasons. He was key to Toronto winning 59 games and securing the No. 1 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. But after getting swept in the second round by Cleveland, the Raptors decided massive changes were necessary — first the firing of coach of the year Dwane Casey, and now the trading of a perennial All-Star who once famously declared “I am Toronto.”
For Kawhi, he recently told the Spurs organization that he would like to move on and play for another team. The Los Angeles Lakers was a team that he expressed interest in since he requested a trade this off season.
Since Kawhi is entering the last year of his contract, is is a possibility that he can join the Lakers and join forces Lebron James.
“Kawhi, obviously, worked very hard to become the player he is,” Popovich said in San Antonio, a couple of hours after the trade became official when the teams got approval on the terms from the NBA. “Our staff worked very hard to help him get there. We wish him all the best as he moves on to Toronto. I think he’s going to be great.”
Leonard was the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and had been with the Spurs for seven seasons, averaging 16.3 points, though was limited to just nine games last season because of a leg injury. DeRozan has been in the league for nine years, all of them with Toronto, and is a career 19.7 point-per-game scorer.
***Associated Press contributed to this story***