Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Danny Green thanks Spurs after trade to Raptors

Danny Green thanks Spurs after trade to Raptors

In maybe the biggest move of the summer, the Raptors have acquired Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs.

It represented the latest twist in a saga that gained steam in May when Leonard reportedly made it clear to the Spurs that his preference was to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Though DeRozan and Leonard may be a bit put off by this deal, it seems Green is open to a new beginning. Another piece had to be included from San Antonio's end to make a deal involving DeRozan work, and Green became an easy choice on an expiring contract. Wojnarowski reports DeRozan was informed overnight of the trade and the point guard posted the following on Instagram story Wednesday morning: "Be told one thing & outcome another". It's a gamble for both teams, but much more for the Raptors: Leonard, who grew up in Southern California, has repeatedly been linked to a desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

If he leaves, he could sign a four-year, $141 million deal with a team with the available salary-cap space, per Woj. Popovich, who is coaching Team USA in next year's FIBA World Cup in China and in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, will undoubtedly be there; whether the two players are, particularly in light of this trade potentially happening, remains to be seen. He signed a five-year deal in 2015 worth more than $90 million. Leonard is a superstar two-way player, and LeBron James is now out of the East. That same report suggested that the Toronto Raptors were favored to land the All-Star forward.

With the acquisition of Leonard, who could remain with the Raptors for just this upcoming season before becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, the Raptors clearly got an upgrade, especially if Leonard stays healthy and is focused on playing up to his potential.

In May, DeRozan was relegated to the bench in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Cavaliers, with the Raptors' season on the line.

DeRozan now has three years and $83 million left on his contract, with an option to terminate the deal early for the 2020-21 season.

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