Well this is awkward.
The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs pulled the trigger on a major trade Wednesday morning, swapping superstars in a four-player deal.
The Raptors receive Kawhi Leonard, who is unquestionably the best player in the deal. One of the very best in the NBA, he’s expressed his desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. He wanted out of San Antonio, and reportedly has “no desire” to play in Toronto either.
Kawhi Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto, league source tells ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 18, 2018
Also unhappy is DeRozan, who appears to be feeling betrayed by Raptors GM Masai Ujiri.
“Be told one thing and the outcome another,” DeRozan posted on Instagram. “Can’t trust ’em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing…”
This is from DeMar DeRozan’s IG story: pic.twitter.com/ZchquqEoPy
— JR Dongalen (@ReubenJRD) July 18, 2018
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. But you have to give up something to get something, and you can understand the allure of acquiring Leonard, a bonafide superstar… provided he doesn’t leave them high and dry.
The challenge for the Raptors now is to impress Kawhi enough to get him to stay in Toronto beyond this season, when he is scheduled to become a free agent.