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Reports: San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors closing in on Kawhi Leonard trade

Reports: San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors closing in on Kawhi Leonard trade The Kawhi Leonard saga could finally be nearing its long-antic...

Reports: San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors closing in on Kawhi Leonard trade

The Kawhi Leonard saga could finally be nearing its long-anticipated conclusion.

According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports and ESPN's Chris Haynes and Adrian Wojnarowski, the Toronto Raptors are engaged in serious talks with the San Antonio Spurs to acquire the two-time All-Star and former NBA Finals MVP.

The details of the trade are still being worked out, but would center on Leonard and Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan. Here's more from Charania on the parameters of the trade, which is still in discussion:

The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors are engaged in serious talks on a trade centered around Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

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 executives 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.


For the Raptors, the risk versus reward would come should the Leonard deal go through, but Toro nto has become a potentially attractive city, organization and on- and off-court fit for marquee players.

Wojnarowski and Haynes report that the deal is close to being finalized and could happen as soon as sometime later today:

The Toronto Raptors are finalizing a deal to acquire San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in a trade package that includes All-Star DeMar DeRozan, league sources told ESPN.

An agreement in principle could be reached as soon as Wednesday, league sources said.

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

Toronto and San Antonio have been talking about the trade for two weeks, and several incarnations of packages have been discussed, 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.

Additionally, Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz reports (via Twitter) that the Raptors are hesitant to include young swingman OG Agunoby in any possible Leonard-DeRozan swaps:

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."

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.

Last season, he averaged 23.4 ppg, but improved in 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, in cluding an Early Termination Option for the 2020-21 season.

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

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 are hardly known at this point.

"It is something we’re looking at ... not saying this roster is perfect," Ujiri said. "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.

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 exit to the Golden State Warriors. Leonard was then spotted at a Dodgers home game three weeks later.

Los Angeles has lon g 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 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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