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Leonard asked the franchise to trade him last month, preferably to a Los Angeles team. Except the Spurs never had any intention to trade him to another West Conference team, and especially not after the Lakers signed LeBron James.
During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Coach Gregg Popovich said Leonard was a hard worker but said "it's time to move on."
As of Wednesday, the Spurs have granted Leonard's wish to be traded. The franchise is finalizing a deal with the Toronto Raptors. That deal reportedly includes trading Danny Green to Toronto as well.
Spurs have agree to trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Trade call with league office is starting shortly.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018
The San Antonio-Toronto deal has been close for days and nearly fallen apart several times, league sources tell ESPN. Ujiri wanted to inform DeRozan himself late last night, in hours before trade call. DeRozan and longtime teammate Kyle Lowry talked hours ago, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018
Kawhi Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto, league source tells ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 18, 2018
Meanwhile, @DeMar_DeRozan not backing off of claim he was lied to by Toronto regarding a potential trade, per source. Extremely upset.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 18, 2018
One player the #Spurs can count on to help DeMar buy into SA is Rudy Gay. The two are extremely close from their time playing together in Toronto. Starting five could include Rudy and DeMar with LaMarcus and Dejounte— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) July 18, 2018
The trade brings the end of year-long saga between Leonard and the Spurs. Following Leonard's injury in the 2016-2017 playoffs, he only played nine games in the 2017-2018 season. He opted not to suit up even though he was medically cleared by Spurs staff and was even kept away from executives. Then, Tony Parker called out Leonard, saying his own injury was far worse but he was all healed. That was allegedly the tipping point for Leonard.
Now Leonard is finally getting traded and nobody is getting what they wanted.
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