The Toronto Raptors continue to make big changes after yet another post-season disappointment, with the latest move a whopper of a deal that will send DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio in exchange for Kawhi Leonard.
When trading a player of Leonard's caliber, the team very rarely gets equal value in return.
Kawhi Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto, league source tells ESPN.
He voiced his frustration on his Instagram Wednesday morning with this message: "Be told one thing & the outcome another". "Can't trust em. Ain't no loyalty in this game". Two more said "soon you'll understand..." and "Don't disturb..." Article XI of the 2017 National Basketball Association collective bargaining agreement states that if Leonard sits out more than 30 days, he could lose his 2019 free agent status until the Raptors agree to let him go (h/t Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports).More news: Rush Limbaugh Ravages US Media Over Coverage of Trump-Putin Summit
San Antonio, meanwhile, gets a four-time All-Star in DeRozan - one who seems quite unhappy by what is transpiring.
ESPN, which first reported that the agreement was struck, also said that the Raptors are sending Jakob Poeltl and a protected future first-round draft pick to San Antonio. But DeRozan was more than just a player happy to be in Canada.
They'll certainly hope that with LeBron James now departing the east, the addition of Leonard will boost their hopes of reaching the NBA Finals next season. Toronto would be able to offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract next summer.
Here's what we do know: The Raptors traded away a player who didn't want to be traded and was apparently promised that he wouldn't be traded for a player who didn't want to be traded to Toronto. He signed a five-year deal with San Antonio that started in 2015-16 but the final year is a player option, meaning he could be a free agent after this season and potentially return home. And don't forget Paul George was going to be a Laker, too, and stuck with the Thunder. 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.
The Raptors (59-23) finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, but were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs.