Raptors Have Positive Initial Conversation With Kawhi Leonard

Raptors Have Positive Initial Conversation With Kawhi Leonard

Leonard is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and the Finals Most Valuable Player when the Spurs won the championship in 2014.

The San Antonio Spurs reportedly agreed to trade Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for a package that includes DeMar DeRozan, taking the Los Angeles Lakers permanently out of the equation. If the Raptors think Leonard is lying and is actually capable of playing, they could file a dispute calling for a "neutral physician" to examine Leonard and determine whether he should be on the court. Leonard was entering the a year ago of his contract and had already made clear that he had no interest in re-signing with San Antonio.

Some have questioned the Lakers' tactics given that it means James' hopes of adding another ring to his collection this season is all but dependent on him himself, having near single-handedly carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Finals a year ago. ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on "Outside The Lines" on Wednesday that Leonard hasn't yet taken a physical with the Raptors. 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. No rebuilding for Pop.

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DeRozan worked with First Book for three years, helping to provide books to kids in low income families.

As NBA reporter David Aldridge tweeted, "Teams have to do what's in their interest".

One of the people says the Spurs also are sending Danny Green to the Raptors as part of the deal. We wish him all the best as he moves on to Toronto. The Spurs are responsible for paying Leonard's kicker but it counts against the Raptors' team salary for cap and tax purposes, and the net effect of the trade bumped Toronto's tax bill by $7.4 million based on my estimates, barring further cost-cutting moves. But that does not change the fact that DeRozan is someone who gave all to the team and the city and now feels that he was lied to by Raptors management who insisted that he was in their future plans.

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But to understand why an executive might do that, you have to consider where the Toronto Raptors were before the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Leonard isn't thrilled either, with Toronto about as far away from Los Angeles as one can get in National Basketball Association circles. "He rewarded us with loyalty, and we responded with, you know, this trade". Kawhi Leonard asked to go home.

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