Kawhi Leonard Expected to Be Traded to Raptors in Blockbuster Deal

Kawhi Leonard

It was always going to be a tough ask. But the deal stings no less for DeRozan, who was genuinely invested in the Raptors' success and has spent much of his adult life raising a family in Toronto.

The Toronto Raptors, though, pose no real threat to signing Leonard long-term. Unless the Raptors can somehow bring in another superstar, they simply will not have a good enough supporting cast to convince Leonard to stay in a city he did not want to be in to begin with. Fans and teams will point to Kevin Durant's decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors team that eliminated them in the seven-game 2016 Western Conference finals. That means the Raptors are entering into this deal knowing that they could have given up a star like DeRozan for someone who might not be in Toronto for long. The Raptors are a business, and with this trade they have angered many of their customers in a visceral way. "Soon you'll understand. Don't disturb".

Marks developed a good relationship with Robertson during his time in San Antonio, and Brooklyn has no fewer than 10 former Spurs employees, according to NetsDaily.

And, league sources told Sporting News, Leonard has no interest in playing for the Raptors. Getting nearly the maximum allowable cash from the Spurs to help cover some of that cost should the Raptors remain deep into the tax and maybe even if they want to continue to add, though they're already projected well into the luxury tax as is with 13 players under contract. Second-best record in the regular season a year ago, behind only Houston. We wish him all the best as he moves on to Toronto. What make things worse is, DeRozan showed his loyalty to the franchise in 2016 when he didn't even bother to meet with any clubs during free agency and made a decision to re-up with the team, only to be traded less than two years later.

Kawhi Leonard
GETTYThe trade brings to an end Leonard's relationship with coach Gregg Popovich

"He has an opportunity to develop the future of basketball in Canada and get kids interested in the sports, just like Vince Carter did", he said.

The brief playoff run of 2018 was the end of that.

"He was incredibly gracious and very humble", Best said. Perhaps, with a more inventive coach in Nick Nurse, and the young players a year older, and DeRozan and Lowry more comfortable in their ball-movement offence, the Raptors might have been great.

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