The bizarre Kawhi Leonard saga has come to end in San Antonio. With an early morning “Woj Bomb” by ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski,the move that had been rumored over the past week became a reality, the all-star foward was being traded to the great white north of Toronto. In a deal that sends DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 first round draft pick for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
While it’s common knowledge that Leonard has every intention to sign with the Lakers next season when he’s a free agent, it’s not known if he will actually play for the Raptors this season after an injury that affected his status all last season. What started as an actual injury to his right quad became a confusing storyline on if he was playing or not. Having team leaders and veterans Tony Parker and Manu Ginobilli publicly bashing his decision not to play when he was healthy enough to get back on the court. To add to the question marks, Chris Haynes of ESPN tweeted this a few hours before the trade was reported.
Kawhi Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto, league source tells ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 18, 2018
I just don’t understand how this a good deal for anyone involved. You have the problems with Kawhi, but for Toronto, how can you justify trading DeMar DeRozan your own all-star and franchise player who has given you everything he has for one year of someone who may not actually play or be a factor at all. It just makes zero sense to me and for the Spurs, if Kahwi doesn’t play or is hurt, the Raptors get to keep that protected first round pick in 2019.
As with all things, we’ll have to wait and see how the trade plays out and if the move allows the Raptors to compete in the weak east and if this helps the Spurs make the playoffs next year in the west.