Kawhi Leonard could sit out entire season with Raptors

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

Someone I've respected and watched play for awhile now.

The Spurs and Raptors agreed on a deal Wednesday sending Leonard to the Raptors - a team Leonard reportedly is less than thrilled to be joining.

Did the Spurs really think they could convince Kawhi to stay?

Kawhi Leonard
GETTYKawhi Leonard's move to Toronto is likely to be just a rental for the Raptors

Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on January 13, 2018, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Some have questioned the Lakers' tactics given that it means James' hopes of adding another ring to his collection this season is all but dependent on him himself, having near single-handedly carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Finals previous year. With Leonard on the shelf, the Spurs took a step back last season, finishing seventh in the Western standings and failing to win 50 games during a full campaign for the first time since 1997.

The Spurs, meanwhile, will not be short of offense with the arrival of DeRozan, who averaged 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 9 years with the Raptors. No rebuilding for Pop. But DeRozan was more than just a player happy to be in Canada.

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As NBA reporter David Aldridge tweeted, "Teams have to do what's in their interest". But a superstar player can maximize endorsement deals here, especially from private businesses and banks, he said. "We wish him well, but at this point, it's time to move on", Pop said.

While Toronto may not be able to offer the Hollywood exposure that National Basketball Association stars can enjoy in Los Angeles, there are many upsides for players of Leonard's calibre, said Vijay Setlur, sports marketing expert and professor in the School of Business at York University. But that does not change the fact that DeRozan is someone who gave all to the team and the city and now feels that he was lied to by Raptors management who insisted that he was in their future plans. Can't trust em. Ain't no loyalty in this game. "Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing", he wrote. "It's a business and you understand the business, but from a player standpoint, it just sucks".

Now we know exactly what he was referring to.

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When Kawhi demanded out in June, here's the longest piece I've read about Kawhi Leonard for possibly Jaylen Brown. Not out of the country.

In a statement to CBC Toronto, the executive director of Lupus Canada, Leanne Mielczarek, said DeRozan's work with her organization "has been instrumental in helping create awareness of this under-funded and under-recognized disease".

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