Reports continue to swirl that DeRozan’s biggest issue with the move, aside from the fact that he vocally wanted to spend his entire career in Toronto, was that he was assured by Ujiri that he wouldn’t be traded. DeRozan could be headed for an MVP-caliber season in San Antonio.
The question, of course, is for how long will the former Spurs’ star be in Toronto? “I think he’s really excited to be in Charlotte and we’ve got some young kids that we need to develop in Dejounte and Derek White and Bryn and so forth”. The injury lingered into the 2017-18 regular season and forced him to play in just nine games.
Leonard finished that 2015-16 campaign averaging 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and a block over 72 games.
As for the Raptors, a healthy Leonard teaming up with Kyle Lowry certainly has potential, but also very risky for a team that was already facing pressure parting ways with Dwane Casey this offseason, despite finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.
Also, Leonard could be enticed to stay by a loaded team that won 59 games last season and front office that helps players secure local marketing deals. In the 2016-17 postseason, DeRozan only made one of his 15 three-pointers.
On Tuesday night, DeRozan shared some frustrations on Instagram. Sell you out quit for a little bit of nothing…soon you’ll understand… Ujiri and DeRozan had a conversation at Summer League that apparently assured the latter he would not move, but that obviously transpired differently.
Since then, the breakdown in communication between DeRozan and Toronto – specifically Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri – has been well documented.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Haynes, the Spurs and the Raptors have both been discussing possible trade scenarios for the past few weeks, with “several incarnations” of packages proposed by both sides.
And that makes him worth the risk for Toronto.
This would be alarmingly bad news for the Lakers, LeBron James, and their fans who all seem confident they can get Leonard next summer when he is free to choose. Everyone knows his preference is to end up in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the Raptors latest acquisition, Leonard, has met with Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster after the team posted a photo welcoming him to the city. “I have to be thrilled with that, and I am”, Popovich said. “We felt that this was the way to go”.
“I look forward to it”, Popovich said.
“I have many great memories that I will take with me”, Green said in an Instagram post. “He’s not going to leave, I’m telling you”.