Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard to Raptors in blockbuster deal

Kawhi Leonard deal arms Raptors with intriguing lineup versatility

Kawhi Leonard deal arms Raptors with intriguing lineup versatility

The Lakers, the Boston Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Philadelphia 76ers and others checked on Leonard's availability before Wednesday's trade.

The package will also see Danny Green head to Toronto and San Antonio receive Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick.

The Spurs issued a press release with details about the trade at 11 a.m. Another report stated that Toronto brass told DeRozan earlier this offseason that he would not be traded.

Last season, he averaged 23.4 ppg while improving a key facet of his game by hitting a career-high 89 3-pointers.

ESPN says Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri is making the trade with the belief he can talk Kawhi into staying with the Raptors in free agency. 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. The potential deal would bring Leonard, one of the NBA's top players when healthy, to Toronto and send an All-NBA and All-Star caliber player in DeRozan to the Spurs. However, Lakers would not the players the Spurs wanted into a trade (Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and more), and the Clippers do not have the assets to interest the Spurs in a trade.

In a story posted on his Instagram page on Wednesday morning, DeRozan wrote, "Be told one thing & the outcome another".

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Leonard can become a free agent next summer, which means there's no guarantee he'll be in Toronto for long.

Presuming health, Leonard remains one of the best five players in the National Basketball Association, and arguably its best two-way player.

If he leaves, he could sign a four-year, $141 million deal with a team with the available salary-cap space, per Woj.

There are still a lot of complications here, namely that Leonard reportedly doesn't want to play in Toronto.

The Spurs drafted Leonard with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

The shooting guard has three years and $83 million remaining on his contract, which includes a player option for the 2020-21 season.

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