VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

First the head coach was shown the door. Now a franchise cornerstone is being shipped out.

The Toronto Raptors continue to make big changes after yet another post-season disappointment, with the latest move a whopper of a deal that will send DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio in exchange for Kawhi Leonard.

The Raptors confirmed the deal Wednesday afternoon in a news release. Toronto also acquired Danny Green in the trade while the Spurs also got Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 protected first-round draft pick.

The blockbuster came just a couple months after Toronto fired head coach Dwane Casey and replaced him with former assistant Nick Nurse. The Raptors finished first in the Eastern Conference with a 59-23 record last season but were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year.

DeRozan, a four-time all-star swingman, has led the Raptors in scoring in each of the last five seasons. He was popular with fans and teammates during his nine-year run with the team, once famously declaring “I am Toronto.”

The 28-year-old from Compton, Calif., posted some messages on his Instagram account earlier in the day that suggested he wasn’t expecting to be dealt.

READ MORE: Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

“Be told one thing & the outcome another. Can’t trust em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing… Soon you’ll understand … Don’t disturb,” he said.

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. The Spurs listed the 27-year-old forward as out on their injury reports for much of the season, citing “injury management.”

Leonard helped the Spurs win a championship in 2014 and was named NBA Finals MVP. But his relationship with the team deteriorated last season and the two-time NBA defensive player of the year asked for a trade.

If healthy, Leonard would give Toronto a bonafide superstar in a lineup that includes veterans like Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka along with young talents like O.G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright.

During the 2016-17 season, Leonard averaged a career-best 25.5 points a game and was third in the MVP voting. He can become a free agent next summer while DeRozan has three years left on his contract.

DeRozan was selected by Toronto with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He was a regular starter almost right away and soon became an anchor on the Raptors, who have made five straight playoff appearances but have never made it to the NBA Finals.

“No matter what…When I think of Toronto Raptors Basketball… I think of DeMar DeRozan…He deserves a statue,” former teammate DeMarre Carroll posted on Twitter.

DeRozan is the Raptors’ all-time leader in points (13,296), field goals made (4,716), free throws made (3,539) and games played (675).

Green, a 31-year-old shooting guard, started 60 games for the Spurs last year and is a three-point threat. He averaged 8.6 points per game last season and has spent most of his nine-year NBA career in San Antonio.

Poeltl, a 22-year-old centre, averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 rebounds as a key bench player for Toronto last season. The Austrian is entering his third NBA campaign.

———

With files from The Associated Press

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City reviewing plans for huge Sandstone project in south Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties says it’s been told to be ready for a public hearing this fall

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

POLL: Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?

Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?… Continue reading

Trail proposed to connect Cedar and Yellow Point

Regional director says project fits with active transportation goals

POLL: Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?

Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?… Continue reading

Nanaimo RCMP community policing needs a few good volunteers

Volunteers needed to help Nanaimo RCMP and city deliver crime prevention and safety programs

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

City of Nanaimo begins project planning for multimillion-dollar public works yard upgrades

Councillors vote to reallocate $200,000 to develop architectural concepts and cost estimates

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting out garbage bins the night before pickup

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as warnings weren’t having an impact

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Regional District of Nanaimo looks to create its own flag

Staff created makeshift flag earlier this year for a conference that ended up getting cancelled

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read