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The Toronto Raptors agreed to send DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
The Spurs will also receive the rights to Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, which will become two second-round picks after one year. According to multiple sources, DeRozan felt betrayed after the trade as he believed that he would not be traded after meeting with Raptors officials in Las Vegas during the summer league.
“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,” a disappointed DeRozan wrote on Instagram.
The four-time All-Star still has three years left on his deal worth $83 million. DeRozan’s contract includes an early-termination privilege that can be used on the 2020-2021 season.
Massive Risk By The Raptors
The Raptors took a huge risk by agreeing to trade DeRozan most especially since Leonard has been very vocal that he wants to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Sources close to the situation said that Raptors president for basketball operations Masai Ujiri is hoping to re-sign Leonard in the free agency, next summer.
Ujiri and the Raptors are likely to offer Leonard a five-year extension worth $190 million. Nonetheless, basketball pundits are not closing in on the doors of Leonard leaving the Raptors as the All-Star forward is eligible to sign a four-year deal worth $141 million with a team that has the cap space. Yahoo Sports’ journalist Ray Ratto believes that Leonard will likely end up playing in Los Angeles.
Popovich Excited To Have Derozan
Spurs mentor Gregg Popovich expressed his excitement of acquiring DeRozan, whom he will work with at the Team USA minicamp next week. The Spurs head coach revealed that he talked with Green and Leonard after the trade was agreed but Popovich did not disclose the details of their conversation.
Both teams have been engaging in trade talks for two weeks with several packages being discussed. Popovich revealed that he plans to talk to DeRozan on Wednesday afternoon.
“At this point it’s time to move on. I’m concerned about Jakob and DeMar and our basketball team. We’ve got a lot of young kids and it’s exciting,” Popovich said.
Popovich also denied the allegations that Leonard was a bad teammate, saying that the narrative is ridiculous. He added that Leonard handled himself very well while playing for the Spurs, calling his former player a hard worker all the time.
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