With Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors in a deal that includes DeMar DeRozan, it's the end of an era in Toronto. The Raptors have made the playoffs in the past five seasons, four of which DeRozan has been an All-Star. The full deal involves Leonard and Danny Green from the Spurs for DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-rounder from the Raptors.
Shortly after the news broke, DeRozan posted what appears to be a response on his Instagram story, and he didn't seem too happy.
There was also a relatively quick response from Leonard's camp, indicating that he has no desire to play in Toronto.
Kawhi Leonard has no desire to play in Toronto, league source tells ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 18, 2018
These immediate responses, naturally, led fans to go ... "Why?" Why would you put two players in positions they don't want to be in -- especially the Raptors after the Vince Carter fiasco? In 2016, DeRozan signed a contract with the Raptors through the 2020-21 season.
Raptors forever: We can’t get top level players to commit to this franchise.— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) July 18, 2018
DeRozan in 2016: I commit to you guys.
Raptors today: You can leave now.
Can’t help but feel for @DeMar_DeRozan. Continued to improve and adapt his game. Lived up to loyalty tattoo by choosing to stay. Always treated media and fans respectfully. Always represented for Canada. How he conducted himself should be part of his legacy. #Raptors— Donnovan Bennett (@donnovanbennett) July 18, 2018
Derozan dropping 90 vs the Raptors next year— BavarBall™️ (@BavarBall) July 18, 2018
Fans were a bit less sympathetic towards Leonard, meanwhile.
The trade is a wild one, to say the least. The Raptors giving up this many assets for what looks like it will amount to a rental is a huge risk for a team looking to get over the hump -- especially when their biggest bugaboo in the East just left for Los Angeles in LeBron James. The Raptors had better hope that this move pans out, because they aren't currying much favor in the initial aftermath.