NBA Players & Fans React To Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan Trade

Kawhi Leonard

GETTYThe San Antonio Spurs have done well out of trading Kawhi Leonard for De Mar DeRozan

Under this rule, the Raptors could refuse to allow Leonard to leave until they see fit. "Kawhi obviously worked very hard to become the player he is and our staff worked very hard to help him get there and we wish him all the best as he moves on to Toronto", Popovich said. Hopefully that will inspire Leonard, who is reportedly not too thrilled by the trade.

"Be told one thing & the outcome another", DeRozan wrote on Instagram early Wednesday after reports of the then-pending deal reached fever intensity. Dwane Casey was the coach of the year who won 59 games and led the Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the East last season. With Leonard on the shelf, the Spurs took a step back last season, finishing seventh in the Western standings and failing to win 50 games during a full campaign for the first time since 1997.

Since Kevin Durant went to Golden State in free agency in 2016, the Thunder has made it clear it wants to avoid a full rebuild.

Meanwhile in Toronto - even after another embarrassing postseason loss at James's hands, and the young Celtics and Sixers lurking - the Raptors still had the best regular-season team in the Eastern Conference.

It was previously reported that Leonard informed other teams with trade interest that he would sign with the Lakers as a 2019 free agent.

DeMar DeRozan
GETTYThe Spurs have acquired De Mar DeRozan in place of wantaway star Leonard

The Raptors would nearly certainly need another 50+-win season and a deep playoff run if they want to convince Leonard to stay.

Leonard is entering the final season of his contract after playing in nine games last season. The only players locked down past the 2019 season are Norman Powell and OG Anunoby.

Kawhi Leonard likely won't be joining LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Oklahoma City was able to convince George to stay with the Thunder instead of joining the Lakers like he had originally planned.

The report indicates that the Blazers' trade package did not include either of their star guards, Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum.

Leonard spent his first seven seasons in the National Basketball Association with the Spurs, appearing in a total of 407 games and averaging 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists. "It's a gamble, but Toronto is probably at the point where, 'We've probably only got one more run with this team anyhow so let's mix it up.' And if they have to rebuild or retool, they could do it without the [$83] million they owe DeRozan". With just one year left on his deal, Leonard could very well be leaving the Raptors after just one season.

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