July 18, 2018

Toronto Raptors trade DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard: DeMar DeRozan, the kid from Compton, Calif. who once professed “I am Toronto,” is no longer a Raptor.
The team’s longest serving and most successful player, who morphed from a shy teenager drafted by the Toronto Raptors into a four-time NBA all-star, is part of a franchise-altering trade for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

posted by tommytrump to basketball at 11:55 AM - 9 comments

To me, Danny Ainge not being able to trade for Kawhi is the second coming of Justise Winslow in the blind luck dep't. Saved from a ill-advised deal he would soon regret.

I think it's great that Kawhi is going to the Eastern Conference and not to the Sixers. It'll make things interesting between Boston, Toronto, and Philly. But the first report I saw on the trade contained the following: "provided the Raptors can convince him to play for the team".

That's the part that gives me great hesitation. I'm too old to deal with head cases at tens of millions per annum. Especially when a WYSIWYG standup guy like Isaiah bounces past the NBA pinball flippers and ends up in the minimum salary tank.

posted by beaverboard at 11:57 AM on July 18

Posted on this in huddle, which can be moved here if mods so desire.

posted by beaverboard at 11:59 AM on July 18

It's a business, DeMar. As long as your signature is on that contract, you are not your own person.

I do know that Spurs can use backcourt help, but will DeRozan be the guy? The interesting part is what Kawhi Leonard will do to keep Toronto as one of the top teams in the East. He will make Raptors a better defensive team, but I really don't see them ahead of a healthy Boston team.

While the summer of 2018 has been interesting as far as player movement goes, 2019 will be even more fun. There are lots of names who will be ready to move, lots of clubs that want them, and lots of money to throw around. Stay tuned.

posted by Howard_T at 01:01 PM on July 18

Will Kawhi play?

posted by NoMich at 01:06 PM on July 18

Spurs were a better team with Leonard playing than the Raptors will be but the Raptors are in the East. I also think he is simply a 1 year rental for the Raptors. Maybe he plays towards the end of the season to prove he still can to set up his next contract.

At the same time it isn't a bad move for the Raptors as they weren't going anywhere with the squad they had. Leonard is a top 5 player when healthy while DeRosan is mostly a gifted undersized offensive player. Spurs certainly win the trade if attitude is considered.

posted by cixelsyd at 01:27 PM on July 18

The Raptors basically pushed all their chips in for this season, instead of trying to hold on for two seasons (when Lowry's contract ends).

This is the window of opportunity for the Raptors with LeBron gone and MAYBE one more year before Celtics/76ers passed them in rising talent.

I love Derozan for his dedication to the city and I wish he could have stayed, but a chance to pick up at top 5 player to add to your 60 win team in a conference without LeBron? You can't pass that up.

I'm fine with this deal (as it feels like the Blue Jays 2015 deadline deal bonanza) because sometimes you just have throw caution to the wind and take a chance.

The fact that they gave up Poeltl and a protected 1st and also got back Danny Green (defense!) makes this deal much easier to swallow. If they had to give up Anunoby or Siakam (as originally thought), that would have made things much more difficult to accept.

posted by grum@work at 02:19 PM on July 18

The concerns about Leonard's non-physical issues ended up improving the chances of a deal eventually getting done with some team, somewhere. His stock sank to the point where the trade packages that the Spurs had been asking for became all the more preposterous.

At some point, they realized that if a trade was going to get done, they'd have to settle for less in return, and did.

posted by beaverboard at 05:33 PM on July 18

I mean, yeah, the Raptors are probably renting Kawhi for a year, but I would point out that it was also "a given" that OKC were renting Paul George for a year before he went to LA and we can see how that worked out.

posted by Ufez Jones at 05:59 PM on July 18

If LeBron had not joined LA it is possible George would be there today. Not all players want to "bask in his glow" (be part of the whipping boy crew). George gets to play on a strong team that needs to add a piece or 2 to contend ... with anyone but the Warriors.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:21 AM on July 19

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