Fantasy Basketball

Spurs Trade Kawhi Leonard to Raptors For DeMar DeRozan


The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors have agreed to a trade, sending Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green North, bringing DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 1st round pick(protected 1-20) to the States.

None of us expected Kawhi to be wearing a Spurs uniform in 2018, but this is an interesting trade for both teams for many reasons.

DeRozan will turn 29 in August and has 3 years left on his contract, at $27 mil per season. According to HoopsHype, that makes him the 13th most expensive player in the NBA next season. However, I do not think he is overpaid compared to the rest of the league.

Poeltl is now the future center for San Antonio and will turn 23 this season.

Leonard and Green make Toronto one of the top defensive teams in the NBA.

Spurs Trade Kawhi Leonard to Raptors For DeMar DeRozan

This move indicates that San Antonio still thinks they can compete in the Western Conference with a roster that features DeRozan, along with LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Dejounte Murray, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, Rudy Gay, Marco Belinelli, Dante Cunningham, Davis Bertans, Lonnie Walker and Poeltl.

However, with DeRozan locked in for a few more years, it allows the franchise some time to figure out their rebuilding process.

The Spurs also have cap space to add a couple more pieces to their roster.

The Raptors will still be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference next year – especially with LeBron James now playing for the Los Angeles Lakers – but will it be enough to take down the 76ers and Celtics?

But what happens after next year?

If Kawhi has not guaranteed that he will sign an extension with Toronto, why make this deal?

Financially, it makes perfect sense for Toronto to want to clear some of their bigger contracts. Kyle Lowry is making $30+ mil for two more years and Serge Ibaka is owed ~$45 mil over the final two years of his deal.

Also, now they have to sign Jonas Valanciunas long-term with Poeltl gone.

The Raptors have the 2nd highest payroll in the NBA. If I were Masai Ujiri, I would have looked to bring in younger players that I could develop and sign long term.

Actually, I would have looked to trade Lowry/Ibaka for whatever, before considering trading DeRozan.

Currently, by the 2020/21 season Norman Powell, OG Anunbody, Malachi Richardson and Pascal Siakam will be the only players under contract.

Toronto has won 50 games three years in a row, but have not had much playoff success. They fired Dwane Casey, despite him winning Coach of the Year. Nick Nurse is the Raptors new Head Coach, while Casey is coaching the Detroit Pistons.

About Keith Lott

I have one goal, to help you win your league. It does not matter if you are a fantasy rookie or a veteran. Everyone has questions, and I have opinions. Lot(t)s of them!

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