National Basketball Association superstar Kawhi Leonard traded to Toronto
19 July, 2018, 12:27 | Author: Marlene Myers
Despite his shortcomings, and his inconsistent playoff performances, it was always going to be hard for Raptors fans to say goodbye, even if it meant Leonard was coming the other way. "Soon you'll understand. Don't disturb".
Before Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan - the headline pieces in a four-player trade between San Antonio and Toronto on Wednesday - play a single game for their new teams, this much is clear: The Spurs got better, the Raptors are taking a gargantuan risk and the Los Angeles Lakers are going to sit back and see what happens. DeRozan is one of the most beloved athletes in the history of Toronto sports, and during his nine-year tenure, he firmly established himself as the best Raptors player of all time. Both Leonard and DeRozan are reportedly aware of the deal, and neither one is happy about the imminent trade, according to league sources.
Leonard, 27, has made no secret of his desire to play in Los Angeles, which has a slightly different November climate than Toronto.
DeRozan got plenty of support from his National Basketball Association peers, including Dwyane Wade, who told The Associated Press that he hopes this trade reminds fans that teams will do what they want when they feel it's time to move a player - so players shouldn't be derided when they exercise their options to move on through free agency, either.
Leonard requested a trade after a meeting with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
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Two years ago, no one would have considered making the argument that DeRozan is a more valuable player than Leonard. "We wish him well, but at this point, it's time to move on", Pop said. Due $20.09 million this season, he already declined a five-year, $219 million super-max extension from the Spurs.
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