The Kawhi Leonard trade rumors have died down over the past week or so, with the 'LABron' movement and NBA Summer League taking up the majority of the NBA news cycle. Still, that doesn't mean there hasn't been progress on the Leonard front, as we may be a little bit closer to seeing Kawhi playing in a different jersey next season.
It was thought that the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers were the front-runners for Kawhi, looking to add an All-Star to their roster to seemingly get over the hump that is the Golden State Warriors. But according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, who appeared on the Lowe Post Podcast, the Toronto Raptors are the closest team to making a deal for Kawhi.
Lowe: Give me one team.
Windhorst: Toronto Raptors, I think they're in the driver's seat for Kawhi because I think the Lakers have given up. The Sixers have given up. And with the Nets, Bulls, and Hawks, spending their cap space, it makes it harder to assemble like a multi team trade. I think the Raptors are in the driver's seat and I want to know what would your offer be if you were Masai?
Lowe: We probably don't have time to get into it. I will say this, I guess I would offer Derozan, Siakam, and at least 1 first round pick. And I've seen a lot of snark on Twitter that the Raptors stuff is a joke, that the odds went up because of something I said on my podcast and that you said on TV. I've seen it being dismissed. It may not happen, most NBA trades don't happen. But if you think it's a joke, you should probably recalibrate your expectations.
Windhorst: OG Anunoby's got to be in the deal.
According to Lowe, a deal including All-Star DeMar DeRozan, Pascal Siakam, and a first-round pick would be sent to San Antonio for Leonard, as well as perhaps O.G. Anunoby. The trade would pair Leonard with Kyle Lowry in Canada, while DeRozan would be playing alongside LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio under Coach Pop.
The rumored deal would surely thrust the Raptors into the top of the Eastern Conference alongside Boston and Philadelphia, and with LeBron out of the East for the first time in his career, the Raptors may finally have a chance at making the Finals for the first time in franchise history.