Kawhi Leonard traded to Raptors; Spurs receive DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan David Griffin Kawhi Leonard

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.

Leonard doesn't want to play in Toronto, ESPN reported, but stands to make $20 million next season and seems to have no health concerns, indicating he might attend the U.S. national team camp next week in Las Vegas.

The Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade was an unexpected Wednesday morning blockbuster. He's already indicating that he isn't excited about playing even a single season for the Raptors. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said on Wednesday that he believes Leonard is healthy and that he expects to coach Leonard on Team USA. He averaged 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and two assists per game to lead the Spurs to a five-game series victory over LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat.

From the moment Leonard made clear his desire for a trade out of San Antonio, the Spurs have taken a patient, deliberate approach to finding a resolution.

Here's what we do know: The Raptors traded away a player who didn't want to be traded and was apparently promised that he wouldn't be traded for a player who didn't want to be traded to Toronto. The L.A. Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics also have been mentioned among Leonard's suitors. Phase 2 is surrounding James with superstar talent, and it's hard to see any reason why Leonard doesn't end up in purple and gold at some point in 2019 - whether through a trade or free agency.

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The trade, which Toronto and San Antonio have been talking about for two weeks, is somewhat of a risk for both sides as neither player appears to be happy about where they are going.

Raptors boss Masai Ujiri better have some magic plan. Toronto also has more money: with the trade Toronto can offer Leonard a five-year, $189.6 million contract next summer, the most any other team can put on the table is a four-year, $140.6 million offer.

The Raptors' abrupt playoff exit ultimately cost Dwane Casey his head coaching job, and left the squad at a distant +6600 on the opening odds to win the 2019 National Basketball Association championship.

The Raptors had the best regular-season record in the Eastern Conference last season at 59-23 but was swept out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who went on to lose the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. With just one year left on his deal, Leonard could very well be leaving the Raptors after just one season.

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