Updated: Jul 29, 2018
Receiving Demar Derozan was the best San Antonio ever could have gotten.
How? Just how? Okay fine, the Raptors did receive a great player in Kawhi Leonard, but no one really knows how good he's going to be next year. Toronto traded away their all time leader in games, minutes played, field goals, points, you name it. I'm honestly shocked the Spurs received such a great player for Leonard, considering his contract ends at the end of the year, he's coming back from injury, and last year, basically decided not to play for his team. That's a head case if I've ever heard of one. Also, Kawhi Leonard won't be happy living in Toronto, despite the Raptors organization thinking that everyone falls in love with Toronto. He therefore won't re-sign with the Raptors. So basically Toronto is banking on winning the title this year? Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen.
If you don't believe me that the trade doesn't match up, the stats don't lie: Kawhi Leonard has had two seasons over twenty points a game in his seven year career (counting last years debacle), his career high coming in 2017 when he had 25.5 points per game. Demar Derozan has had five straight seasons with over twenty points a game, and his career high also came in 2017 when he had 27.3 points per game. Now you could just blab on and on about how Leonard is such a great defender, but really is it that important? Sure, it helps, and it's another way to stand out, but pretty much all of the players in the NBA are good defenders, and one shouldn't be known, and regarded highly because of his defense. Take Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics for example. He is highly regarded as a top notch defender, but he has a career field goal percentage of .360, and a career three point percentage of .293. And despite those stats, he still takes way too many shots. My point is, playing good defense doesn't make up for bad offense.
I don't know why the Raptors think that they have to blow everything up, after all, they had the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference last year. And close friends Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry work very well together. Instead of blowing everything up, a few slight improvements could have landed the Raptors in the NBA Finals. For the Spurs, great. They got rid of someone who didn't want to play for them anymore, and gained a four time All Star. That works for me.