Blazers have engaged Spurs in Kawhi Leonard trade talks

DeMar DeRozan

Blazers have engaged Spurs in Kawhi Leonard trade talks: Report

The Spurs issued a press release with details about the trade at 11 a.m.

With the Eastern Conference up for grabs, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly in the late stages of a high-risk/high-reward trade that would exchange DeMar DeRozan for San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

Appearing in all 82 games, Poeltl averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.22 blocks in 18.6 minutes for Toronto during the 2017-18 season.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri reportedly has expressed confidence that he can persuade Leonard to re-sign with Toronto next summer in free agency.

Leonard's future has been a subject of league-wide fascination ever since it was first reported he wanted to leave the only team for which he has played.

In order for such a trade to work financially, other players had to be included in the deal as well.

The deal has not been finalized and the players involved must still pass physicals for a trade to get done.

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The deal is risky for Toronto because, depending on what happens next summer, the Raptors may have given up their top scorer, DeRozan, for a one-year rental on Leonard.

The 28-year-old signed a five-year, $139 million contract with the Raptors in 2016, which runs through the 2020-21 season.

In an Instagram story posted early Wednesday morning, DeRozan seemed to indicate what sources had told The Washington Post previously: that he and his camp had been told he wouldn't be traded this summer. The pairing of James and Leonard in Los Angeles could be the NBA's best chance at challenging coach Steve Kerr's Warriors for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. If the Raptors are intent on keeping Serge Ibaka in the lineup, they could experiment with Leonard playing the two.

The diagnosis of Leonard's injury and subsequent rehabilitation drove a wedge between the Spurs and Leonard, who wound up getting a second opinion and rehabbing in NY for most of the second half of the season.

But after Toronto suffered a second straight playoff sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers after finishing with the number one seed in the east, a major change was always likely.

DeRozan now has three years and $83 million left on his contract, with an option to terminate the deal early for the 2020-21 season.

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