NBA Rumors: Spurs Wanted 20-Point Scorer In Trade For Kawhi Leonard
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

After months of speculation, the San Antonio Spurs finally pulled the trigger and traded disgruntled superstar Kawhi Leonard.

When the dust settled, Leonard, along with teammate Danny Green, was sent to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a top-20 protected first round pick.

When teams trade a star they often look to rebuild by bringing in young players and high-value draft picks, hoping to drop into the draft lottery for a season or two, hit the jackpot, and then get back to contending with a reloaded roster.

The Spurs, however, prioritized continuing their winning ways, and as such, they were looking for win-now pieces rather than those that could help them in the future. Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News shared that the Spurs were adamant on bringing in a player who could average at least 20 points per game:

If that indeed was the Spurs’ goal in a Leonard trade, then it’s mission accomplished on their end. Finding a 20-point-per-game scorer isn’t easy (there were only 23 in the entire league last season) but DeRozan makes the cut easily after averaging 23 points for the Raptors.

Most of the Leonard trade rumors focused on the Los Angeles Lakers, with most assuming that their cast of young players would interest the Spurs, but obviously finding young talent wasn’t as important to San Antonio as most thought.

That, combined with the Lakers reluctance to part with major pieces when Leonard will be a free agent next summer, means that Toronto’s offer was likely the best the Spurs were going to see. Even with the trade, the Leonard saga isn’t over, as the countdown until his free agency next summer has already begun.

As part of our efforts to help you understand how we handle the personal information you share with us, and in preparation for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy & Cookies Policy. The updated Privacy & Cookies Policy will take effect on May 22, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy. We recommend that you read our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy in full.

You May Also Like

Lakers Head Coaching Rumors: Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts & Kenny Atkinson Among Candidates To Advance To Final Round Of Interviews

The Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets are the only two NBA teams currently without a head coach…

Lakers Rumors: Cavs Were ‘Doing Homework’ On Luke Walton Before Mutually Parting Ways With Larry Drew

The 2018-19 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers has come to an end with far more questions than answers. While it…

NBA Rumors: Lakers Were ‘Strongly Considering’ Isaiah Thomas Before Rajon Rondo Got Bought Out

The Los Angeles Lakers roster is nearly complete for the 2021-22 season, although they do still have some open spots remaining…

Lakers Rumors: Talks With Pacers Have ‘Re-Engaged’ With ‘No Traction’ On A Trade With Nets For Kyrie Irving

While a bulk of NBA free agency is in the rearview mirror, the Los Angeles Lakers are still one team in search…