Raptors to acquire Leonard and Green for DeRozan, Poeltl, and a 1st

Kristopher Nichols
July 19, 2018

Popovich knows that people will always want to hear about the conflict between him and Kawhi, but he's ready to focus on the new players the Spurs just got from the Raptors (DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl) and completely move on from the drama of the past.

The Philadelphia 76ers' package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Miami's unprotected 2021 didn't move the needle for the Spurs. He opted into his $10 million salary for the 2018-19 season in June.

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

The addition of Leonard for the Raptors is a game-changer given his potential impact on both ends of the floor.

Knowing the return now, the deal looks like a more justifiable move - the Raptors landed a former MVP candidate in Leonard and a very useful two-way rotation piece in Green, and while giving up DeRozan is all kinds of hard, they kept their two highest-upside young players in OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam and only surrendered one draft pick.

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After seeing stars like Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Damon Stoudemire, and Chris Bosh leave the Raptors over the years, it was refreshing to see DeRozan develop into an All-Star and commit to the franchise long-term. The 27-year-old averaged 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor during the 2016-17 season.

Leonard's future has been a subject of league-wide fascination ever since it was first reported he wanted to leave the only team for which he has played.

The Raptors had the best regular-season record in the Eastern Conference last season at 59-23 but was swept out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who went on to lose the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.

DeRozan has 3 years, $83 million remaining on his contract.

That would make sense given that the Raptors reportedly told him recently in Las Vegas that they wouldn't trade him. But he could also take a four-year, $141 million deal if he left for another team. Poeltl holds a career field goal percentage of.641 (320-499), which ranks fifth in the National Basketball Association among all players with at least 300 field goals made in the last two seasons.

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