Someone Close To Kawhi Leonard Believes He’ll ‘Fall In Love With Toronto’

DeMar De Rozan thanks Raptors fans in heartfelt farewell message

That face-to-face appeared to have happened later Friday evening, as the Raptors tweeted out a picture of Leonard and Ujiri together.

DeRozan remade his game as part of the "culture reset" demanded by general manager Masai Ujiri after Toronto was beaten in the playoffs by LeBron James and the Cavaliers in 2017 - a familiar outcome, as James and Cleveland beat the Raptors in three straight postseasons.

The Spurs decided they were done fielding offers and pulled the trigger on a Kawhi Leonard trade early Wednesday morning, sending the disgruntled forward (along with Danny Green) to the Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick.

Ujiri said Friday the fans were not forgotten in the trade decision but it's "hard to satisfy everybody".

While most expect Leonard to flee Toronto for Los Angeles at the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign, at least one person in his inner circle apparently believes the star swingman has a future with the Raptors that goes beyond one season.

As it stands now, Kawhi is not interested in playing for the Raptors for years to come. If there was a miscommunication there I do apologize to DeMar, his family, and his representation.

"When you have a chance to get a top-five player, which doesn't come very often, I think you have to jump on it", he said. "It's not what I meant".

Lewenberg also points out that the trade is final and has been for days. Leonard has been clear that he plans to sign with the Lakers in free agency next summer. Ujiri said the player "didn't express a lack of interest to play in Canada to me".

There had been plenty of speculation throughout the 2017-18 season about the influence of Leonard's uncle, Dennis Robertson, and agent, Mitch Frankel, with the Spurs wondering if the men speaking on Leonard's behalf had ulterior motives.

We will see whether Leonard even plays a significant amount of games for the Raptors.

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