In the blockbuster trade of the 2018 off-season, the San Antonio Spurs will finally send off their disgruntled former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard along with longtime Spur sharpshooter Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and Toronto's 2019 First Round Pick.
The Spurs accomplish their goal of getting Kawhi out of the West and manage to get a top 15 player back in exchange for him in DeMar DeRozan. Any relief of finally having LeBron in another conference are shattered for DeRozan as he now joins the Western Conference and will once again have the unlucky opportunity of being forced to face off against LeBron in the postseason. Also acquired in the trade is a young prospect in Jakob Poeltl and a potential mid-20's First Round Pick for next season. With this trade, Stephen Curry becomes the only player from the First Round of the 2009 Draft to still play for their original team.
For Toronto, this is a high risk, high reward trade much like the Paul George trade for OKC last season. The Raptors give up a durable superstar that has already proven his ability to produce in their system and was locked up on a long-term contract and get back a player that only played 9 games last season, was pretty much dead set on playing in L.A. long-term and has the potential to be an expensive 1 year rental. However, when healthy, Kawhi Leonard can become the second best player in basketball. He is the best two-way player in the game and is a Finals MVP that has done the best job guarding LeBron James in the entire league. That and a capable 3 and D type player in Danny Green to replace DeRozan in the starting 5. If Toronto can get the 2016-17 Kawhi Leonard and somehow find a way yo convince him to resign next summer like OKC was able to do for Paul George, then this trade was a massive win for them because if both of those things happen, the Raptors can be very good for the foreseeable future. If not, then this trade can be very bad for them from 2019 on.
Who won this trade? In my opinion, the Raptors have the upper edge.