The San Antonio Spurs do not have to deal with Kawhi Leonard's antics of not wanting to be with the Spurs any longer. The Spurs will trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 first-round draft pick. It's a protected 1-20 selection. After one year, it becomes two second-round picks, according to league sources telling ESPN.
Kawhi Leonard is a top five to top ten player in the NBA. He was Finals MVP for the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 against the Miami Heat. Leonard has one more year left on his contract and he wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers after this season, but will see how the year plays out in Toronto.
Kawhi Leonard only played in nine games last season because of a calf injury. He averaged 16.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1 BPG, and 2 SPG with the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard is 28 years old. The Toronto Raptors will be getting a tremendous two-way player and he will be a major presence inside the locker room.
Toronto won 59 games last season and they had the best record in the eastern conference. For the third straight season, they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs. The Raptors will not have to deal with them anymore because Lebron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Toronto will have to deal with the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Milwaukee Bucks in the east however. The Raptors also have a new coach in Nick Nurse. There was also no way they were going to stay pat. They needed to make changes.
Danny Green is 31 years old and he is a good outside shooter. Green is owed $10 million this season and he will be a free agent after this season.
Green averaged 8.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.1 BPG, and 0.9 SPG last season with the San Antonio Spurs.
Center Jakob Poeltl was the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He has the potential to be a starting center one day. Poeltl is only 22 years old. He averaged 6.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 1.2 BPG, and 0.5 SPG with the Toronto Raptors.
DeMar DeRozan was an all-star last season. He is 28 years old and DeRozan averaged 23 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.2 APG, 0.3 BPG, and 1.1 SPG with the Toronto Raptors.
He is under contract for three more season and DeMar DeRozan will be owed $27.739 million each season. Jakob Poeltl is under contract for the next two seasons.
San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich will find a way to make DeRozan an even better basketball player. He will also groom Poeltl into a very good NBA player.
Dejounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol will most likely be the Spurs starting lineup in 2018-2019.
Kyle Lowry, C.J. Miles, Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, and Jonas Valanciunas will most likely be the Raptors starting lineup in 2018-2019.
This was a good deal for both teams. The San Antonio Spurs will be able to keep competing for playoff spots and the Toronto Raptors might be able to win the eastern conference with this trade.