ESPN's Brian Windhorst revealed the team made a "compelling offer" to the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard. Several teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, emerged as suitors, but most National Basketball Association executives believed the Raptors presented the best potential current and future package.
Some trade partners are still holding out hope that they could convince Leonard to stay, however, since they could offer a substantial amount of money than any other team. I think the Sixers have given up, and with the Nets, Bulls, and Hawks spending their cap space, it makes it harder to assemble a multi-team trade.
The Raptors are said to be offering All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who has three years and $83million left on his contract, in an effort to convince the Spurs to trade.
Leonard and DeRozan are both aware that an agreement could be imminent, and neither is expressing enthusiasm for the deal, league sources said.More news: Royals release new photos to mark Prince Louis' christening
"Talks between the Spurs and Raptors have intensified in recent days, league sources said", he wrote.
If the deal is reached the Raptors would be getting the services of one of the best two-way players in the game when healthy.
As for DeRozan, the 28-year-old has already embedded roots with the Canadian franchise that drafted him, helping steer the Raptors into relevancy in the post-Vince Carter (or Chris Bosh) era, earning All-Star honors and several playoff trips in his nine seasons. It seems likely that the Raptors would at least want the chance to speak with Leonard and his camp, even if they will not give assurances as to any commitment beyond 2018-19, when he can be an unrestricted free agent and is believed to be a certainty to head to one of the Los Angeles teams.
Leonard, 27, officially became eligible for a five-year, $221 million super-max-level extension on Monday, but there is no expectation he will sign such a deal with the Spurs.