Twitter Reactions: NBA Players react to HUGE Spurs-Raptors trade involving Kawhi Leonard & DeMar DeRozan

Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan
Yash Matange
Modified 19 Jul 2018

Early on Wednesday, America woke up to a huge trade. One that changed the landscape of the respective conferences and possibly for either team involved. The San Antonio Spurs traded 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick.

As of right now, this looks like a win-win for both franchises.

For the Spurs, this is a huge victory. Getting DeMar for Kawhi allows them to still remain competitive in an already very tough Western Conference. By the looks of it, they didn't want a package from any team that was only focused on the future - talks with the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers. More importantly, the trade ensures that they don't lose Leonard [as a FA next summer] for nothing given that he didn't intend to return to the team's locker room for the upcoming 2018-19 season.

The Raptors, on the other hand, looked like a flawed entity for the majority of last season. They lost a number of close matches down the final stretches of the regular season against other contenders, and this theme continued in the playoffs as they lost to the Cavaliers twice by close margins in what was otherwise a lopsided 4-0 sweep. DeRozan bore the brunt of the blame for his listless performances, particularly in Game 3 when he was benched during the final stretches.

Getting Kawhi on their squad could power the Raptors to another run to the Conference Finals if they gel well. Leonard is as good a plug-and-play player in the league as anyone, and there should hardly be any growing pains for the squad as a unit in acclimatizing to a new first option. Perhaps they still have a chance to keep Kawhi, but all the signals received from everyone involved point to this being a one-year rental as of now.

Published 19 Jul 2018
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