Raptors Emerge as Winners of Kawhi Leonard Sweepstakes

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:32 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2018 1:32 PM UTC

The Kawhi Leonard Era is over in San Antonio as the Spurs have traded their best player to Toronto in a package built around DeMar DeRozan. Let’s check the updated 5Dimes futures odds for both clubs.

<p>When <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/best-sportsbooks/" rel="nofollow">SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks </a>first put out a prop on which team the San Antonio Spurs would trade superstar Kawhi Leonard to, the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/lakers-favored-to-land-kawhi-leonard-who-wants-out-of-san-antonio/85630" rel="nofollow">Toronto Raptors weren’t even a betting option.</a></p><p>On Wednesday, which was supposed to be the slowest sports day of the year with no MLB action (so much for that with Manny Machado also traded by the Orioles to the Dodgers), the Raptors landed the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. San Antonio sent Leonard, a Top 5 player in the league when healthy, and shooting guard Danny Green to Toronto for All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, young big man Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick. That pick is protected for spots 1-20. After one year, it becomes two second-round picks. Most likely, the Raptors won’t be bad enough to be picking 1-20 – presuming Leonard plays more than the nine regular-season games he did in 2017-18 -- so San Antonio will get it.</p><p>This deal is interesting because Leonard reportedly has made it clear that he has no interest in playing in Toronto long term; everyone expects him to sign with either the Clippers or Lakers next summer when he hits free agency as Leonard is from L.A. So, it’s a risk for the Raptors in that regard, but when you have a chance to get a talent like this you pull the trigger and hope you can sell said player on the franchise. Much like Oklahoma City did with Paul George.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;kawhi leonard : I dont want to play anywhere else but LA &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The Spurs Organization : &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/wMpFOo4iL3\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/wMpFOo4iL3&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— KD 🇭🇹 #MinkahGang 🎪 (@KDTooLit) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/KDTooLit/status/1019565176113238017?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;July 18, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>In addition, Toronto would be able to offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract next summer. Other teams could “only” offer a four-year, $141 million deal. DeRozan, ironically another L.A. native, has three years and $83 million left on his contract, including an early-termination option for the 2020-21 season. He’s one of the best two guards in the NBA and averaged 23.0 points last season. DeRozan has struggled some in the playoffs in his career, though. He’s not happy about this deal, either.</p><p>On the updated <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4418&amp;book=5dimes" rel="nofollow">5Dimes futures odds </a>to win the East, the Raptors are now +625 third-favorites behind Boston (-125) and Philadelphia (+285), two teams that also had interest in Leonard. It’s been a rough offseason for the 76ers as they also lost out on LeBron James and lost Nemanja Bjelica before they had him. He had agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the 76ers but then changed his mind and told the team he was going to play in Europe this coming season. Philly still has a win total of 56 for 2018-19 at 5Dimes.</p><p>For the NBA title, the Raptors are +2650; keep in mind, they led the East in victories last season but were swept out of the playoffs by LeBron. It was the third straight postseason that James eliminated Toronto from the playoffs, so the Raptors surely were as happy as anyone that LeBron went to the Lakers.</p><p>The Lakers are losers here because there’s no guarantee that Leonard will sign there next summer; L.A. also thought it was as sure thing that George would. Sometimes, a player gets comfortable with his new team and opts to stay where he can make more money. Toronto also landing Green was important because he will slot into DeRozan’s starting two-guard spot. Green isn’t nearly as good an overall player as DeRozan but is a better 3-point shooter, and that has been a glaring weakness for Toronto in recent postseason. The loss of Poeltl is no big deal.</p><p>As for the Spurs, <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4418&amp;book=5dimes" rel="nofollow">they are +5000 to win the West, </a>which obviously is a pipe dream with the Warriors around. San Antonio is clearly trying to rebuild on the fly and might be in the mix for the West’s final playoff spot. The Spurs will be largely unrecognizable, though, without Leonard, Tony Parker, who left with Charlotte, and potentially Manu Ginobili, who is again pondering retirement. At least the Spurs got Leonard out of the Western Conference (for one season), which was reportedly their goal.</p>
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