Simply when the NBA world thought the craziness of July was over, the San Antonio Spurs determined to commerce Kawhi Leonard and Danny Inexperienced to the Toronto Raptors in trade for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round draft decide.
It was a commerce that stunned many, however for the Los Angeles Lakers, it in some sense was a chance misplaced. They have been among the many groups reportedly engaged with the Spurs in commerce talks, although have been not too long ago mentioned to have taken a step again.
Los Angeles is believed to have faith of their potential to signal Leonard outright as a 2019 free agent, and his becoming a member of Toronto doesn’t seem to have dampened that.
In the meantime, one of many massive storylines of the offseason has been the rising disparity between the Jap and Western Conferences after LeBron James signed with the Lakers.
Leonard going east definitely makes him one of many convention’s high gamers, but it surely additionally helps to alleviate that disparity on the high. The Raptors, for subsequent yr not less than, have positioned themselves within the dialogue with the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.
One participant who finds the commerce notably good for basketball is Lakers star Kyle Kuzma. In an interview on the ESPY’s Purple Carpet, Kuzma defined why he believes Leonard getting traded to the Raptors is constructive:
“I believe it’s good for the NBA. Toronto, already an excellent group, and to have an opportunity so as to add a top-three participant and actually boost the East just a little bit, it’s undoubtedly good for the NBA.”
As all the time with Lakers gamers and employees, Kuzma needed to be cautious. He joked about not desirous to say an excessive amount of and probably receiving a tampering high quality, however his level nonetheless stands.
The Leonard commerce, whereas shocking, exhibits that groups in East aren’t happy with merely getting by. Raptors normal supervisor Masai Ujiri made a daring transfer within the hopes that, very similar to the Paul George scenario, Leonard could be satisfied to re-sign.
So whether or not Leonard stays in Toronto or finally heads to Los Angeles, this commerce makes this season’s Jap Convention just a bit extra intriguing.
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