West exec says it might be inevitable for Raptors to clean house if Kawhi Leonard leaves
Only five days after a championship-winning effort, the Toronto Raptors face the real questions regarding their gambit to acquire Kawhi Leonard in a trade. There is no rest in sight for the Raptors, who could potentially blow up their team this very summer if Leonard chooses to go westward to his native Los Angeles in a matter of days.
While it would be a staggering hit to clean house so shortly after winning a title, a Western Conference executive told Jordan Brenner of The Athletic that it may be inevitable:
“I’ve looked at it,” said the exec. “They’re not going to get value for Lowry at the trade deadline, so they’ve got to do it this summer. So if they move Kyle, you’re in it, and you might as well move Ibaka and Gasol too.”
Lowry signed a three-year, $100 million deal in 2017 and has only a year remaining in it at $33.3 million. Yet his value may never be higher after having three outstanding games in the NBA Finals, including a series-capping Game 6 that saw him put up 26 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and three steals.
The Villanova product put up a career high in assists this past season, but his shooting numbers were forgettable after stringing together consistent seasons alongside former backcourt partner DeMar DeRozan.
It could be a disillusioning proposition to tear down the roster so soon after giving Toronto its first-ever pro basketball title, but it’s gut-check time for a Raptors team that could be looking at rebuilding sooner rather than later if Leonard doesn’t walk through that door.