Blazers have engaged Spurs in Kawhi Leonard trade talks

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Keep in mind they're losing a star shooting guard in this deal, so it's not like they're just adding Leonard to everything else they had.

There are still a lot of complications here, namely that Leonard reportedly doesn't want to play in Toronto. "If Toronto can keep him it's a good deal for Toronto because they get the best player in the deal", one rival National Basketball Association executive said.

Both teams announced the trade on their websites shortly after noon.

DeRozan reacted in an Instagram posting early Wednesday, seeming to say the Raptors told him he wouldn't be sent to San Antonio in a Leonard swap only to have it happen. Dwane Casey was the coach of the year who won 59 games and led the Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the East last season.

Leonard, meanwhile, spent seven years in San Antonio but appeared in only nine games last season due to a leg injury, described as right quadriceps tendinopathy. This isn't likely a case of signing an injured DeMarre Carroll, and expensively whiffing on free agency. DeRozan was the long-term piece and if he was still in the equation then maybe the Raptors would have a good pitch. The Raptors take a shot at a ring and winning Leonard over to their team, if that fails and he bolts they start a rebuild (they also didn't give up young players they really like such as OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam).

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By blowing it up, Ujiri isn't merely hoping that Leonard, a true MVP candidate when healthy, can be convinced to remain in Toronto beyond next season.

PLAYED THROUGH TRAGEDY - Leonard was a junior at Martin Luther King High School in the Riverside neighbourhood of Los Angeles when his father was fatally shot at the vehicle wash he owned in Compton on January 18, 2008. If the Raptors are intent on keeping Serge Ibaka in the lineup, they could experiment with Leonard playing the two.

DeRozan was named to the 2018 All-NBA Second Team after averaging 23.0 points, 5.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 33.9 minutes in 80 games last season with Toronto.

A two-time All-NBA selection, Leonard also has been named NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice. Gasol is nearing 40, however, and has a partially guaranteed contract for the 2019-20 season, so the team potentially acquired insurance for this. Multiple reports have said Leonard does not want to play in Toronto.

"So, we are very anxious to get them involved in the program and let them know how we do things". If Leonard left the Raptors, he could sign a four-year, $141 million deal with a team with the available salary-cap space.

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