The Portland Trail Blazers are among several teams that have talked to the San Antonio Spurs about trading for star forward Kawhi Leonard. Can't trust em. Ain't no loyalty in this game. "Sell you out quit for a little bit of nothing..." said one post. "Soon you'll understand. Don't disturb", he said.
This seems like a huge deterrent for Leonard, who is expected to cash in big-time during next summer's free agency period.
The Raptors take on Leonard, who they must convince to stick around past the 2018-19 season.
Leonard doesn't want to play in Toronto, ESPN reported, but stands to make $20 million next season and seems to have no health concerns, indicating he might attend the US national team camp next week in Las Vegas.
GETTYThe trade brings to an end Leonard's relationship with coach Gregg Popovich
Leonard's injury last season was described as right quadriceps tendinopathy, and the Spurs listed him as out on their injury reports for much of the year, citing "injury management" - a designation that became a source of contention on the usually peaceful Spurs last year. Leonard was entering the a year ago of his contract and had already made clear that he had no interest in re-signing with San Antonio.
On Monday, Leonard became eligible to sign a five-year, $219 million contract extension with the Spurs this season.
The shooting guard has three years and $83 million remaining on his contract, which includes a player option for the 2020-21 season. Perhaps, with a more inventive coach in Nick Nurse, and the young players a year older, and DeRozan and Lowry more comfortable in their ball-movement offence, the Raptors might have been great.
"If you can give him a team that could play at the highest level - if the Raptors can build a true contender, not an Eastern contender, an National Basketball Association championship contender, that plus an extra $50m in bird rights, it's the best argument they can make". Leonard stopped going to games late in the regular season and was not on the bench for any of the team's five playoff games against champion Golden State in the first round.
During the 2016-17 season, Leonard averaged a career-best 25.5 points a game and was third in the MVP voting. They traded point guard George Hill to the Pacers in order to acquire the pick so they could acquire Leonard.