The Toronto Raptors have made very few moves aside from a coaching search after firing Coach of the Year Dwane Casey, who posted the franchise’s all-time best record with 59 wins.
According to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks, the Raptors could shock the world by trading star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard.
“I know this might sound like a roll of the dice, but if I’m the Raptors, I would pick up the phone and tell Spurs GM R.C. Buford that he can choose a package featuring DeMar DeRozan. Yes, I get that you’d be giving up three years of DeRozan for Leonard’s expiring contract. But let’s face it: Toronto is third in the East pecking order behind Boston and Philadelphia. With LeBron out West, I would take a chance on Leonard if he looks healthy. Add Danny Green’s $10 million contract to Leonard, and a deal for DeRozan works.
I just think we’ve come to the realization that Leonard’s expiring contract has sliced his value in half.”
Besides the hiring of Nick Nurse as their new head coach and re-signing of Fred Van Vleet, the Raptors have made very few moves in this free agency period, but this move could completely shake the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors are virtually bringing the same exact roster to the 2018-19 season with a different coach (who was the one suggesting the implementation of their new offensive system) — so there’s no reason to expect any visible change.
Trading for an injured Leonard is a risk, but one that might be worth taking to shake things up and see if a new core can make a dent in a vulnerable Eastern Conference if Leonard is willing to re-sign with Toronto.