San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors finalizing deal involving Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan

Marcus Newton
July 18, 2018

In an otherwise slow news cycle in the National Basketball Association - hey, look: the Sacramento Kings just traded for former Sacramento Kings draft bust Ben McLemore! - the rumour mill continues to churn on the Kawhi Leonard trade front. I think the Raptors are in the driver's seat.

Leonard's contract expires following next season, making him one of the biggest targets in the 2019 free-agent class.

"I think they're in the driver's seat for Kawhi because I think the Lakers have given up, the Sixers have given up", he said. Spurs coach and Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich is one of nine coaches planning to be there.

Lowe, by the way, said he'd offer DeMar DeRozan, Pascal Siakam, and a first-round pick, while Windhorst (hilariously) demanded OG Anunoby as the podcast went off the air. Leonard also indicated in June that the Lakers were one of his preferred destinations.

Last week we covered the two fundamental risks involved in dealing for Leonard.

According to ESPN, Leonard would like to show teams how he has recovered from his quad injury - which has been central to his strained relationship with the Spurs - but there is question as to whether his participation in the camp would help facilitate a trade or give the Spurs more opportunity to try to keep Leonard and patch up past issues.

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Lowe then built on that point by saying that despite some waving off the Raptors-Leonard rumors because of the shifting Vegas odds (which were taken as a bit too much evidence), the possibility is very real.

That seems like a hefty price to pay for Kawhi Leonard, assuming Leonard leaves in free agency after just one season with the Raptors.

Toronto would be able to offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract next summer.

Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio.

In the East, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers were popular landing spots, however the ESPN report details that neither team was willing to include their best players in a package for Leonard, given the aforementioned risks and the bright futures their clubs already have in store.

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