With the Toronto Raptors “in the driver’s seat” to land Kawhi Leonard, much speculation has emerged over what sort of package the team can offer the San Antonio Spurs to land the two-time defensive player of the year.
Many of these trade ideas centre around dealing DeMar DeRozan, but given how much the four-time all-star means to the franchise both on and off the court, would team president Masai Ujiri actually consider including him in a swap for Leonard?
If a recent report is to be believed the answer to that is a resounding ‘yes,’ because Ujiri and the rest of the Raptors front office have entertained the idea of trading DeRozan before.
The Raptors, I’m told, held exploratory discussions in the summer of 2017 with Minnesota on a deal that would have been headlined by DeRozan and the Timberwolves’ Canadian swingman Andrew Wiggins.
– The New York Times
Obviously that deal didn’t come to fruition, but if it had it would’ve meant a homecoming for the Vaughan, Ont., native Wiggins.
More pertinently to the Raptors’ situation right now, however, is that this reported trade-that-never-was can be seen as proof that Ujiri and Co. aren’t afraid to trade the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, meaning – with all due respect to the 2014 No. 1 overall pick – if Toronto’s willing to deal DeRozan for Wiggins you’d better believe it’s willing to do the same for a far superior player in Leonard.
Shortly after the Raptors were swept out of the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, a report surfaced saying that no Raptors players would be considered “untouchable” heading into the off-season.
By the looks of things, that report could be ringing truer than anyone could’ve first believed.