Raptors acquire Leonard, Danny Green; Spurs get DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick
The Kawhi Leonard saga has reached its long-anticipated conclusion.
The Toronto Raptors have traded star guard DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for Leonard, a former two-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP winner. Spurs veteran Danny Green is also headed to the Raptors with Leonard while the Spurs get DeRozan, center Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick in 2019.
“We wish him well as he moves into Toronto. I think he’ll be great,” Popovich said. “I think this trade is going to work out great for both teams. We wish [Leonard] well, but at this point it’s time to move on. It’s time to move on.
“Kawhi is not going to stop being a great player. But we’re thrilled with DeMar. … To get back a proven NBA player and a proven All-Star, we have to be thrilled.”
As for dealing Green, Popovich said: “It was hard, he’s become a good player. He’ll enjoy Toronto.”
Popovich, who also serves as coach of Team USA Basketball, also said he expects Leonard to be in Las Vegas next week for Team USA’s minicamp and that he is “looking forward” to coaching Leonard there. A recent ESPN report that the seven-year forward is considering participating in the minicamp next week.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors and Spurs had been discussing a trade for a while now. A source tells Turner Sports’ David Aldridge a long-term stay in Toronto past the 2018-19 season for Leonard is going to be “a very tough sell.”
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.”
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