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Jalen Rose says Kawhi Leonard has opportunity to become LeBron James of the East

kawhi leonard, lebron james

The Toronto Raptors took a flier on a controversial trade with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday – one that got the team from Canada Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green but cost them their previous face of the franchise in DeMar DeRozan, big man Jakob Poeltl, and a future protected draft pick.

For ESPN personality and former NBA player Jalen Rose, the trade is a “win-win” for both sides when asked about his view of the transaction during Wednesday’s episode of Get Up! on ESPN. Rose even went as far as to say that in Toronto, Leonard has a shot to become “the LeBron James of the Eastern Conference.”

It’s a bit ironic for Kawhi Leonard to become the new LeBron James of the East and play for the Raptors, since part of the reason Toronto gave up on the duo of DeRozan and Kyle Lowry is the fact that they just could not get past James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs during the four-time MVP’s time in the conference.

Leonard has reportedly shown disinterest towards playing for the Raptors, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has also stated that the two-time Defensive Player of the Year Award winner is warming up to the idea of playing for the Raps.

For how long Leonard will stay in Toronto? That remains uncertain, too, as the two-way forward is playing on a contract that will expire by the end of the 2018-19 season.

Still, even without DeRozan, the Raptors are legitimate contenders in the East.