Leonard, who turned 27 on June 29, played in only nine games last season while he struggled to overcome a mysterious quadriceps injury that kept him out of the lineup until December 12.
Both teams announced the trade on their websites shortly after noon. His absence from the team became a point of consternation for Popovich and the Spurs, who didn't have the All-Star forward on the floor for the final five months of the season because of a quadriceps injury. He has played for a championship team in San Antonio, was the playoff MVP, was twice National Basketball Association defensive player of the year, was four times an National Basketball Association all-defensive player and twice on the first all-star team at small forward.
Earlier this month, superstar LeBron James chose to sign in free agency with the Lakers.
That means the Raptors are entering into this deal knowing that they could have given up DeRozan for someone who might not be in Toronto for long.
DeRozan (seen on the left being guarded by Leonard) was not pleased with the trade after reportedly being told by the Raptors that he would not be dealt before next season.
Sources: Leonard going to Raptors, DeRozan going to Spurs
It all starts with Leonard, though, and whether he ever warms to the notion of being a Raptor, living here, playing here, caring, being a difference-maker here. At the NBA Finals, where much of the chatter was dominated by the potential homes of James (and Leonard), there was nearly no consideration of the Raptors as a real contender next season. He played in nine games for the Spurs last season and was barely a factor.
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 auto wash he owned in Compton on January 18, 2008.
DeRozan, drafted by Toronto in 2009, had played all of his past 9 seasons north of the border and both player and city have grown an affinity toward one another.
"So, we are very anxious to get them involved in the program and let them know how we do things".
The Spurs have likewise been apprehensive in searching for a deal, reports Wojnarowski.
When the Raptors gave DeRozan a US$139-million contract before the 2016 season, it was an acknowledgement that they valued being a good team.
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