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Report: San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors agree in principle to Kawhi Leonard trade

Report: San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors agree in principle to Kawhi Leonard trade The Kawhi Leonard saga has apparently reached its long-...

Report: San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors agree in principle to Kawhi Leonard trade

The Kawhi Leonard saga has apparently reached its long-anticipated conclusion.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs have agreed in principle to a trade that will send Raptors star guard DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio for Leonard. Here's more from Wojnarowski:

The Toronto Raptors have agreed to a deal to acquire All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard in a larger trade package that includes All-Star forward DeMar DeRozan, league sources told ESPN.

There are more players on both sides included into the swap, but only DeRozan has been informed so far, sources said. A trade call with the league office to finalize the trade is set for Wednesday, sources said.


Sources close to DeRozan told ESPN's Chris Haynes that DeRozan met with Toronto brass in Las Vegas during summer league and was told he would not be traded.


Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is taking a significant risk in pursuing the trade. Ujiri will make the deal with a determination that he can sell Leonard on re-signing with the Raptors next summer in free agency, sources said. Toronto would be able to offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract next summer. If Leonard left the Raptors, he could sign a four-year, $141 million deal with a team with the available salary-cap space.

As word of the trade circulated the NBA social media atmosphere early this morning, DeRozan took to Instagram and posted a story there that read: "Be told one thing & the outcome another. Ain't no loyalty in this game. Sell you out for a quick bit of nothing ... Soon you'll understand ... Don't disturb."

News of the reported deal broke early Wednesday as the Raptors and Spurs reportedly engaged in serious talks involving the Raptors acqui ring the two-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year and former NBA Finals MVP Leonard.

The details of the trade were still being worked out early Wednesday, but centered on Leonard and DeRozan. Here's more from Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania on the trade talks:

Talks between the Spurs and Raptors have intensified in recent days, league sources said. The potential deal would bring Leonard, one of the NBA’s top players when healthy, to Toronto and send an All-NBA and All-Star caliber player in DeRozan to the Spurs. For key figures involved in the deal, it is believed only a snag in final discussions could prevent completion, league sources said

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. Several teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, emerged as suitors, but most NBA executive s believed the Raptors presented the best potential current and future package.

Leonard is scheduled to enter free agency in 2019 and has no intention to commit to Toronto long-term, league sources said. DeRozan also has expressed displeasure toward a possible move, becoming aware of the possibility late Tuesday night, league sources said.

Wojnarowski and Chris Haynes reported earlier this morning that the deal was close to being finalized and could happen as soon as sometime later today:

Leonard and DeRozan are both aware that an agreement could be imminent, and neither is expressing enthusiasm for the deal, league sources said.


Sources close to DeRozan told ESPN that DeRozan met with Toronto brass in Las Vegas during summer league and was told he would not be traded.

Per Haynes (via Twitter), Leonard reportedly has no desire to play in Toronto. Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz reports (via Twitter) that the Raptors are hesitant to include young swingman OG Agunoby in any possible Leonard-DeRozan swaps. Turner Sports' David Aldridge reports (via Twitter) that the Raptors are well aware of the risks involved in trading for Leonard:

Raptors know the risks involved with potential Kawhi Leonard acquisition, given his preference for playing in L.A. But they have great faith in their young players going forward regardless of what Leonard decides to do in 2019.

DeRozan has spent his entire career with the Raptors (2010-18), emerging as one of the top guards in the Eastern Conference. Since making his first of his four career All-Star berths in 2013-14, DeRozan has averaged 23.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in that span. He was named to the All-NBA second team this season and was All-NBA third team in 2016-17.

Last season, he averaged 23.4 ppg while improving a key facet of his game by hitting a career-high 89 3-pointers. He has three years and and $83 million left on his contract, including an Early Termination Option for the 2020-21 season.

Will the Spurs deal Kawhi Leonard before the start of the 2018-19 season?

Leonard's future has been a subject of league-wide fascination ever since it was first reported he wanted to leave the only team for which he has played. Despite attempts by the Spurs -- including a try by coach Gregg Popovich -- to mend the relationship, Leonard and his camp have steadfastly maintained their distance as the offseason has worn on.

The strain between Leonard and San Antonio built throughout the 2017-18 campaign as the former 15th overall pick dealt with a quad injury that kept him from playing in all but nine games. The unusual recovery time was compounded by his physical separation from the team, as Leonard continued his rehab in New York. His absence was especially notable during the Spurs' first-round playoff e xit to the Golden State Warriors. Leonard was then spotted at a Los Angeles Dodgers home game three weeks later.

DeRozan is the Raptors' all-time leader in points scored (13,296), games played (675), field goals made (4,716) and attempted (10,532) as well as free throws made (3,359) and attempted (4,277). He also ranks third all-time in assists (2,078) and second all-time in steals (655).

The Raptors went through a series of changes in the offseason after they were swept in the Eastern Conference semifnials by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Coach Dwane Casey -- the NBA's Coach of the Year -- was fired days after that playoff exit and was eventually replaced by Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse.

Shortly after Casey's firing, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said roster changes could be afoot for the team. But, he was quick to point out the timetable for those changes were hardly known at that point.

"It is something we’re looking at ... not saying this roster is perfect," Ujiri said then. "Things we need to do and I need to do to get better. Roster changes is not something I can change today. Sometimes [it takes] takes 2 months, sometimes a year, sometimes two years.”

An offseason of change was afoot for Toronto after its playoff exit.

Los Angeles has long been reported as Leonard's preferred destination in the event San Antonio decides to trade him. Talks between the teams have reportedly taken place on more than one occasion, but have yet to gain enough momentum for completion.

The news that Leonard might be Toronto-bound accompanies a recent ESPN report that the seven-year forward is considering participating in USA Basketball's minicamp next week. Popovich is the coach of the senior team that will play in the FIBA World Cup in 2019.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Source: Google News US Sports | Netizen 24 United States

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