The longer you wait, the more said player's value goes down.
Leonard appeared in only nine games for the Spurs last season because of a somewhat mysterious right leg injury - and the level of severity was something that even some of his now-former teammates reportedly questioned last season while San Antonio was trying to qualify for the Western Conference playoffs. "How many trades can you recall where both of primary players involved are furious with the move?"
You sometimes see players hold out from training camp during contract negotiations, but refusing to play for a team entirely has rarely been seen in recent National Basketball Association history, particularly by such a prominent star. Letting go of DeMar DeRozan is hard for a lot of reasons, but Leonard is the type of talent you take risks for.
Though it has yet to be approved by the league, Leonard and DeRozan are the major pieces in a swap that will also send Danny Green to Toronto and Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick to San Antonio.
But it wasn't just his accomplishments on the court that will be missed. However, at some point the Raptors were willing to create the package around DeRozan and San Antonio couldn't pass up the chance to get an All-Star under contract for multiple years in return. They've also preserved the cap space for next season just in case Leonard has pangs for Los Angeles at this time next year.
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"He was incredibly gracious and very humble", Best said. For DeRozan, who has often professed his love for Toronto, the initial reaction seemed to be one of anger and frustration. He took pictures with them and signed autographs.
DeRozan had a special connection to the organization because when he was young his mother, Diane, was diagnosed with Lupus - an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissue and organs.
Mayor John Tory even weighed in on Twitter Wednesday. Getting LeBron James to sign with LA earlier this month was a big part of the plan, but it wasn't the whole plan.
Tan says, because of everything DeRozan has done for the team and the city, it's going to be hard to see wearing a different uniform next season. They had been bad for so long, and now, somewhat by accident, they had become good, and We The North became a thing, and they could be counted on to win a lot of games and be a sure bet for the playoffs and sell a bunch of tickets and make a pile of money, and didn't that count for something?