Color me floored on an otherwise beautiful Wednesday morning.
Everyone and their mamas knew that not only Kawhi Leonard wanted out of San Antonio, he wanted to be in Los Angeles – preferably a Laker. He made that abundantly clear from the jump.
And given that Kawhi will be a free agent after this season, teams were rightfully hesitant to send a big package to the Spurs in what would most likely be a one-year rental. Hell, even the Lakers were not gonna do so because after all, they KNEW he wants to be a Laker – even if both sides have to wait a year.
But, as the two popular sayings go, “a fool is born every minute”, and “all it takes is one”. Enter the Toronto Raptors.
Look, I understand a team wanting to make one big run to a title. And I also understand one wanting to “shoot his shot”, if you will. But seeing the Raptors trading for Kawhi, especially after he made it clear that he didn’t want to go to Canada, is beyond foolhardy.
I mean look at what Toronto had to give up: DeMar DeRozan (and if you saw his Instagram post, you’d know how pissed he is right now), Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 1st round pick. That’s a whole helluva lot for a dude who might not want to stick around after this coming season.
Besides, the Raptors’ chief nemesis/tormentor LeBron James just signed out of conference. Why not take their chances in a now wide open Eastern Conference? Last I checked, the Raptors won 59 games and finished atop of the East last season, so it’s not like they sucked.
This is just another in a series of bad moves the Raptors have been making since being swept out of the playoffs.
First, they fired their successful head coach Dwayne Casey. Now they are about to guy their squad for a glorified one-year rental.
Great. See your asses in the lottery after Kawhi leaves, Toronto.
As for the Spurs, this was BRILLIANT on their part.
General manager RC Buford (how’s THAT for a top executive’s name?) and coach Gregg Popovich found their suckers, pulling in an impressive haul for a disgruntled star who wanted out. And considering they were behind the 8-ball from the jump, the Spurs did pretty well.
You have to look at the landscape.
This was post-draft and mid-free agency. LeBron leaving the Cavs emboldened Philly and Boston to stay pat, unless they were blown away by Spurs. The Lakers weren’t going to sell the farm after landing James. And most of all, Spurs were not going to help Leonard win a chip.
Spurs 100, Raptors/Kawhi negative **insert number here**…