Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Spurs Trade Kawhi Leonard to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan

Leonard, Danny Green to Toronto as DeRozan, Poeltl, and 1st go to Spurs

July 18, 2018 - 5:04 pm

By Austin Medina  

Kawhi Leonard is no longer a Spur.

DeMar DeRozan is no longer a Raptor.

And the NBA is no longer foreseeable.

The San Antonio Spurs, who have had a strenuous several months with star forward Kawhi Leonard, finally dealt him in return for a tremendous package.

DeRozan averaged 23 points per game last season, while increasing his three-point percentage and leading the Raptors to a franchise record 59 wins. It’s odd that the Raptors made this move, as the East worsened with LeBron’s move to Los Angeles.

The Raptors mortgaged their future for a rental. There’s no other way to describe the decision. Of course Kawhi Leonard is an upgrade from DeRozan, though he only played nine games with San Antonio last season. When healthy, Leonard is a top-3 player in the league and by far the best two-way player. The move gets even more questionable for Toronto after a report surfaced following the trade news.

Sure, the Raptors will be a legitimate threat the make the Finals next season with the addition of Kawhi. That is if he decides to play next season. Thereafter, the future of the Raptors organization appears woeful. They fired head coach Dwayne Casey, who won the Coach of the Year. They just traded their franchise guard and most loyal star for a one-year rental.

The league erupted after the Raptors’ decision to trade DeRozan, as many players voiced their aggravation.

The Spurs got the best package they could get in this situation. No one in their right mind would want to trade Leonard. Then again, Leonard didn’t want to suit up in the Silver and Black ever again. The Spurs not only got a bonafide star in DeRozan, who will be the new face of the franchise. They also received Jakob Poeltl, a promising young prospect who played in extended minutes with the Raptors deep bench, as well as a 2019 first-round pick.

Head coach Gregg Popovich spoke about the trade. As he looks forward to his new additions, losing a player in Kawhi Leonard is never easy.

The Spurs, as it stands today, have the edge in the trade. This is not to say the Raptors don't want to win now. They clearly do and clearly can. But the move is a gutsy gamble for Toronto.

This year, they will be okay.

The future? Thats a different story

The NBA has endured two straight bizarre off-seasons and who’s to say there isn’t more madness to come?