While the Raptors risk losing Leonard after one season when he becomes a free agent, DeRozan signed a five-year deal with the Raptors worth $139 million in 2016. They're hopeful, too, that Leonard can be sold on the benefits of playing for Canada's team.
Leonard's injury last season was described as right quadriceps tendinopathy, and the Spurs listed him as out on their injury reports for much of the year, citing "injury management" - a designation that became a source of contention on the usually peaceful Spurs last year. Leonard is the big name in the trade, but he isn't the only star on the move.
In an Instagram story posted early Wednesday morning, DeRozan seemed to indicate what sources had told The Washington Post previously: that he and his camp had been told he wouldn't be traded this summer.
Knowing the return now, the deal looks like a more justifiable move - the Raptors landed a former MVP candidate in Leonard and a very useful two-way rotation piece in Green, and while giving up DeRozan is all kinds of hard, they kept their two highest-upside young players in OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam and only surrendered one draft pick. With a desire to leave the Spurs, San Antonio has been trying to get a deal done that would bring them a good return of talent for Leonard. DeRozan was the long-term piece and if he was still in the equation then maybe the Raptors would have a good pitch.
It was previously reported that Leonard informed other teams with trade interest that he would sign with the Lakers as a 2019 free agent. His dream landing spot, according to all reports was the Los Angeles Lakers, his hometown team, where he could play alongside LeBron James.
The Raptors actually saw their odds start to improve once they started being mentioned in the Leonard sweepstakes, as they were as high as 60/1 on July 2. Fred VanVleet can play both guard positions, and Danny Green is also going to be included in the deal. Without a physical, it's tough to gauge whether Leonard is healthy enough to play now, or if he's over the issue that cost him 73 games last season. Oklahoma City was able to convince George to stay with the Thunder instead of joining the Lakers like he had originally planned. He has a player option for the 2019-20 season. If you love sports, know digital sales, and can throw your weight behind an aggressive commission based opportunity than we would love to talk to you.