I wasn’t ready for this. I didn’t want this. I don’t want to acknowledge it’s happening. After a summer filled with rumors that the Philadelphia 76ers were engaged in trade talks for San Antonio Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard, the air came out of the bubble today. The Toronto Raptors will reportedly acquire Leonard in a blockbuster deal for a package built around 4-time NBA All Star and 2018 All-NBA Second Team member DeMar DeRozan:
Toronto has reached agreement in principle to acquire San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard for package that includes DeMar DeRozan, league sources tell ESPN. Trade is larger on both sides, and players are still being informed of their inclusion in the deal. Trade call with league today.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2018
Anyone who’s followed the Kawhi saga this summer knows of the report that Leonard would prefer to play in Los Angeles for either the Lakers or Clippers. There had been some hope in Sixers circles that Leonard would consider signing an extension with Philadelphia if a deal could have been struck. I can’t imagine he’s thrilled with the news of his basketball deportation to north of the border.
DeRozan, who was recently told by the Raptors front office that he wouldn’t be traded, doesn’t appear to be pleased with the deal:
Checking in on DeMar DeRozan's Instagram story … 👀 pic.twitter.com/W4RhHzJI1W
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 18, 2018
The cruel irony in this for me is the fact that the player that got me into basketball was former Toronto Raptor Vince Carter and now that team has driven a stake through my hopeful heart. Thanks for nothing, Canada.