After landing Kawhi Leonard in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday and watching LeBron James leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Raptors have suddenly vaulted into Eastern Conference contention.
The details of the trade were still being worked out early Wednesday, but centered on Leonard and DeRozan.
Despite Leonard's tumultuous nine-game season with San Antonio, the Spurs wanted to thank Leonard for his seven years with the franchise.
Leonard, who turned 27 on June 29, played in only nine games last season while he struggled to overcome a mysterious quadriceps injury that kept him out of the lineup until December 12. "I think of DeMar DeRozan.He deserves a statue", former teammate DeMarre Carroll posted on Twitter.
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He led the Raptors with an average of 23 points per game last season. Can't trust em. Ain't no loyalty in this game.
DeRozan, a four-time All-Star, has been with the Raptors since being drafted ninth overall in 2009.
What has become increasingly unlikely is now reportedly true: Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will not be playing for the Boston Celtics next season. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing. This marks the second major move of the off-season for the Raptors as Toronto fired Coach of the Year Dwane Casey. He earned All-NBA Third Team honors following the 2016-17 season when he ranked fifth in the league in scoring, averaging a career-best 27.3 points.
Leonard spent his first seven seasons in the National Basketball Association with the Spurs, appearing in a total of 407 games and averaging 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Ibaka will be 30 next season and in the previous year of his contract.