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Well, that didn't take long.
ESPN's Chris Haynes is already reporting there's rumbles Kawhi Leonard may not be any more enamored with his new team than his last.


While the end of an era may indeed be in sight for the San Antonio Spurs, who have finally committed to a post- Leonard future after the team's marquee player and the franchise became estranged over the handling of Leonard's quad injury this last season.

Or perhaps, if you believe the rumors, endorsement money for Kawhi's sneaker deal, or his uncle, or possibly the illuminati were the root cause, but whatever the issue is, Leonard still hasn't really played considerable minutes since injuring his quad, and certainly doesn't seem to be over whatever funk has transformed one of the league's most mild personalities into a seemingly permanent malcontent.

Did the Boston Celtics dodge a bullet?

It's too soon to say, to be honest. I think the Toronto Raptors had to pull the trigger, as their roster has a season or two in fringe contention left in it before they need to tear things down a bit to give their youth movement some run.
The reported inclusion of DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl (and a well-protected [1-20] pick from this year's draft) was almost certainly the best possible deal out there for Leonard, who will be joined by Danny Green in the trade. For the Spurs, getting back an All Star (albeit a middling one) and a promising young prospect will give coach Gregg Popovich something to work with before retiring.

Green is a solid rotation player, but at 31, is unlikely to have much of an impact on the Raptors, and while Kawhi is a much better player than DeRozan, I suspect the already-evident issues coming from Kawhi's camp (that phrase is starting to sound like the worst summer vacation destination ever) combined with a new system and the looming threat of Leonard's exit will extend the team's spate of bad postseason luck to this coming season and beyond.

And that's assuming he's healthy.

Whether Kawhi and his people would be making the same noise if Leonard had been dealt to Boston is unknown. But I can tell you very clearly that if I were hearing as a Celtics fan what Toronto fans are hearing now, I would be pissed. The potentiality for this move to go sideways might be worth the risk, but if it does go south, you can count me among those who will remind you of that fact.

Once.

For more stories by Justin, click here.



Image: Darren Abate/AP
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 7/18/2018 11:10:00 AM Edit
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