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Breaking Angles: Spurs Swap Kawhi Leonard for DeMar DeRozan, Picks

Kawhi Leonard Dunk by Jose Garcia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Breaking Angles: Spurs Swap Kawhi Leonard for DeMar DeRozan, Picks

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The San Antonio Spurs are trading Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poetl, and a protected 2019 1st round draft pick. Danny Green will also be on the move from the Riverwalk to the Great White North. That pick is protected 1-20, and after a year it becomes two second-rounders. 

This move is a huge risk for the Raptors. Leonard could very likely end up being a one-year rental as he becomes a free agent at the end of the season and has made it very clear he would like to play in his hometown Los Angeles. The Raptors are hoping they can convince The Claw to stay in Canada much in the same way the Thunder convinced PG13 to stay in OKC. The difference being, Kawhi is NOT Paul George personality wise, and Kyle Lowry is NOT Russel Westbrook of even close.

Look, I’m from Detroit and I live a few hours north of LA now. I absolutely will always ride or die for my hometown. But no-one in their right mind chooses Toronto’s climate over LA’s. NO. ONE. 

This trade caught many people by surprise this morning, even if the teams have been working on it a couple weeks. It even caught DeRozan by surprise, as ESPN reported that DeMar met with Raptors officials during Summer League and left believing he would not be traded. Early this morning this was seen on his Instagram story “Be told one thing & the outcome another. Can’t trust em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing… Soon you’ll understand… Don’t disturb…”


This will probably signal a rebuild of sorts for the Spurs who head into completely uncharted territory for the first time in 2 decades. Add to that the fact Pop is highly considered to only have another year or two left in him before retiring and thing could get real interesting in San Antonio. This could be the first time in a long time the Spurs miss the playoffs. But wait, you’re saying. The Spurs made the playoffs last year without Kawhi and they’re getting DeRozan.  That’s true. But they’ve also lost Danny Green, who was maybe one of the most underrated players in the entire league last year. I guarantee SA did not want to give him up as well as Leonard, but it was the only way Toronto would take the risk.

Keep it locked to The Turf as this story updates.

Andrew Mark Wilhelm is a professional Sound Engineer/Designer, and amateur photographer, writer, musician who recently relocated from California to Rochester, NY. Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit has made Andrew an avid fan of all things Detroit but nothing more so than his beloved Detroit Tigers. Every year he tells himself he won't drink the Lions Kool-Aid, and every year winds up heartbroken come January. A Spartan by heart, and a Golden Grizzly by degree, you can catch his (almost) weekly Hot Takes every Hump Day here at The Turf.

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