What does the Kawhi Leonard trade mean for the Celtics?

Kawhi Leonard is officially a Toronto Raptor. Yet, what does that mean for the Boston Celtics? For starters, it most likely means that the three best teams in the east are all within the same division. The Atlantic Division boasts the healthy and stacked Celtics, the young up and coming Philadelphia 76ers and the now revamped Toronto Raptors.

For all the talk of the Eastern Conference being a "joke" of a conference, it certainly got a lot more competitive. When healthy, Leonard is a top five player in the league. Being healthy has certainly been a struggle for him but the Raptors clearly thought it was worth the risk. Toronto has been near the top of the Eastern Conference for years now but has not been able to get over the hump. Last season they boasted a season in which they won a franchise record 59 games and had their coach win coach of the year. However, Dwayne Casey was fired and their franchise cornerstone has been traded for a new one.

As Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe pointed out in one of his latest articles, Demar DeRozan is not happy about being dealt by the Raptors to the Spurs. "It is safe to say now that DeRozan is not very happy, because a post on his Instagram account on Wednesday morning indicated just that" Himmelsbach wrote in the article.

DeRozan did in fact post his feelings on his Instagram the morning after the trade by saying, "Be told one thing & the outcome another. Cant trust em. Aint no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing...soon you'll understand." he wrote in a series of posts put up on Instagram story. You can find his story here.

Regardless of personal feelings, the trade is finalized and it is time to look at the big picture. Kawhi Leonard makes the Raptors better. Even if he leaves after the season, he makes them better in the short term. Danny Green is also another piece that Toronto will be able to utilize both as a shooter and defensively. Beyond this, DeRozan has had a history of struggling in the playoffs and Kawhi is a NBA Finals MVP.

The fans that screamed the Celtics and 76ers were going to be in the only two teams that could come out of the east may now eat their words. The East just got more competitive and the Celtics now have another team to look out for.

Photo-- Raj Mehta--- USA today