Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs are in serious talks on a trade that centers around Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan. While no deal has yet to be confirmed, the Raptors have been rumored to have interest in Leonard for some time now, and the two sides appear to have mutual interest in getting a deal done.
The Trade Details
At the time of writing, the trade is still being worked out and has yet to be finalized, though the deal would include DeRozan, the starting shooting guard of the Raptors, and it's likely other pieces would be included in a potential deal should it be completed in the near future.
While it's likely the Raptors would try and keep OG Anunoby in any possible trade and it's unlikely Kyle Lowry would get moved for salary reasons in this deal with DeRozan being included, it's likely we see some first round draft picks and possibly multiple role players headed to San Antonio should this deal cross the finish line.
How the Spurs would be affected
For the Spurs, this type of deal would likely mean some sort of rebuild would be underway. After losing James Borrego to the Charlotte Hornets, as well as interest from some teams in Becky Hammon, Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka (who was runner up for the Detroit Pistons job behind Dwane Casey), their coaching staff is likely to go through an adjustment period as well in the very near future. Combine that with Gregg Popovich only getting older and the dominance of the Western Conference that only got enhanced by LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, and it's easy to see why the Spurs might choose now to undergo a rebuild.
It's also unknown just how much interest Leonard has had in re-signing with the Spurs heading into the last year or so. Leonard's name has been floating around the rumor mill a lot this summer, as it's been rumored his relationship with the Spurs has been heading south recently. While the Spurs have maintained they'd like to keep their superstar player, listening to offers now only makes sense, as the Spurs could use this opportunity to rebuild for the future. Leonard only has one year left on his contract, and there are conflicting reports about his intentions to stay with the team beyond that point, so if they can get a big package for Leonard it would make sense for them to do so.
How the Raptors would be affected
The Raptors are looking to change things up this offseason, as has been made clear by the firing of Casey. It seems as though the team is looking to change course and attempt to find a different direction this offseason. After the firing of Casey, the team seems to be trying to change things up with the players as well. With the inclusion of DeRozan in a possible deal, it could drastically affect the whole landscape of the NBA, and particularly the eastern conference heading into next season and beyond. The Raptors making a bold move like this would likely propel them over the edge in the east and make them contenders for the NBA championship next season and possibly beyond should they be able to re-sign him.