The Toronto Raptors took a big gamble by trading for Kawhi Leonard. He has only one year left on his contract and will be a free agent after next season. According to the latest rumors, Leonard may end up resigning with the Raptors.
In this trade, there seems to be no winners at the moment. The San Antonio Spurs traded one of the best NBA Players in the league away for less talent. Adding DeMar DeRozan won’t help them beat the better teams in the Western Conference but what choice did they have?
Leonard threatened to sit out next season if the Spurs didn’t trade him. He showed everyone just how much leverage a player has in today’s day and age. Unfortunately for Leonard, he wasn’t able to land in a team based in Los Angeles. The Spurs may have had to trade him but they didn’t have to honor his request.
Many teams didn’t want to trade for Leonard because he didn’t offer to resign with any other team besides the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. But the Raptors used that to their advantage and were able to make a trade package that got them more in return than they traded away. And now, it seems like they have a real chance to resign Leonard next year.
Taking a gamble like this isn’t an easy choice for the Raptors but they have seen it work out this off-season. The Oklahoma Thunder traded for Paul George last season and he also had one year left on his contract. He openly stated that he wanted to play for the Lakers and yet he resigned with the Thunder this off-season.
If the Raptors pull it off, they will be the obvious winners in this trade. With the addition of Leonard, they have a great chance to make it out of the Eastern Conference next year. The Raptors have to make sure that Leonard is happy and he might decide to stay.
This will be one of the more important storylines for the Raptors next season. Winning will be a big focus but the even bigger focus will be to resign Leonard and make sure this trade wasn’t for naught.