It was a Pandora's box for the Raptors entering the 2019 offseason. After being swept 0-4 by one of the worst LeBron James led teams ever, the Raptors seemed stuck in an endless cycle of falling short.
It took big decisions and, ultimately, big changes to break the cycle. Just like that, Toronto put their chips on the table by trading away franchise star DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard. They abruptly replaced Dwane Casey for Nick Nurse. Them mid-season, they waved goodbye to Jonas Valanciunas to bring in an aging Marc Gasol.
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri took all the risks over the summer and even during the season to ensure they had the best possible chance at reaching their ultimate goal of an NBA Championship.
As they stand one win away from a Finals berth, it is becoming hard to say any of those franchise-altering decisions were the wrong one. Even an early season promotional video made by Sportsnet was able to capture the narrative Toronto had on their head entering the season. A narrative they are fulfilling before our very eyes.
There is no telling what Kawhi's decision will be this July. The 27-year-old star probably does not even know himself.
But whether or not he stays or goes, who is to say the Raptors should regret the trade if they end up winning it all? If even for a season they can set out what they've dreamed of for years, something tells me the city, the fans, and the organization will consider the Leonard tenure a success.