Spurs sending Raptors $5 million in Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade
The Kawhi Leonard trade saga has finally concluded, only that the former San Antonio Spurs star is not landing in Los Angeles as he planned, but in the bitter cold of Northern Canada to join the Toronto Raptors.
And as the hours go by, the details slowly begin to form — including some additional perks from San Antonio by way of cold hard cash to cover Leonard’s $3 million trade kicker and the ensuing taxes.
League's trade memo on Kawhi has been sent to teams. Includes one final tidbit: the Spurs are sending Toronto $5M in cash (almost the maximum they can send for the year) as part of the deal. Meant to cover tax hit linked to Kawhi's trade kicker, but still…
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 19, 2018
Accompanying Leonard to Toronto is the other half of the Spurs’ defensive wing rotation, Danny Green. In exchange, the Raptors are sending DeMar DeRozan, center Jakob Poetl, and a 2019 first rounder that’s top-20 protected (that becomes two second-round picks if it doesn’t convey that year).
The Spurs are all smiles since they finally rid themselves of the drama and locker room discontent that Leonard sowed all season while getting an ideal replacement in the four-time NBA All-Star DeRozan who is ready to slot in on their starting lineup. The 28-year-old is coming off his fifth straight 20+ point season, averaging 23 points (0n 45.6 percent shooting including his second best 3-point percentage in nine seasons at 31 percent), 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.
For Toronto, in addition to the PR snowball effect of the DeRozan deal and the subject of “loyalty,” Leonard remains a source of problem for any team that lands him that isn’t on his wish list. But general manager Masai Ujiri is confident they could get the former Finals MVP to buy into what they’re selling and be a long-term Raptor.