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ESPN Insider Suggests Raptors Could Trade Kawhi Leonard

A view of Kawhi Leonard crouching down from the side.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

On Wednesday morning, the Toronto Raptors acquired former San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. The much maligned star wanted out of San Antonio and R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich obliged.

In return, the Spurs landed DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a top-20 protected first-round pick. The rumored price tag of Kawhi seemed to be much higher than what the Spurs eventually landed.

There might be a reason for that. Leonard has made it clear he wants to play in Los Angeles, whether for the Lakers or Clippers.

That move could come as soon as next year. Kawhi is in the final year of his contract and will hit free agency in 2019 - that coupled with the fact that Leonard has publicly cited his intent to play in Los Angeles likely drove his price down.

ESPN's Zach Lowe posited about Leonard's future in Toronto and revealed he might not have one.

If Toronto gets the sense by Thanksgiving that Leonard is leaving regardless, they can try to flip him to the Lakers or Clippers.

If such a trade did arise, Leonard would finally land where he wants, and a full rebuild would be on for the Raptors. Adding young assets to an already impressive young squad would put the Raptors in solid position for the future.

Meanwhile, the Spurs will move forward with DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge as the team's two primary weapons (offensively).