Kawhi Leonard pens thank you letter to San Antonio Spurs

11 August, 2018, 03:56 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • NBA trade news Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has taken a gamble on trading for Kawhi Leonard

It's worth noting that while Leonard said he's "looking forward to the next chapter" of his career, he didn't specifically mention his new city, or his new team.

In his letter, Leonard praised former coach Gregg Popovich, saying he will "always be grateful for my growth under your guidance".

Shortly after a meeting between Leonard and Popovich, the Spurs moved the two-time National Basketball Association defensive player of the year to the Raptors.

But he finally opened up - I use that phrasing loosely - in a letter to the San Antonio Express-News.

After announcing that he didn't want to play for the Spurs anymore, Leonard was traded alongside Danny Green to the Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poltl, and a protected 2019 first round draft pick.

THANK YOU to the fans!

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"Through all the ups and downs - I'm glad there were many more ups!"

DeRozan openly criticized Masai Ujiri, claiming the Raptors president promised he wouldn't trade him.

Leonard's exit from San Antonio had been tumultuous.

During his six seasons in San Antonio, Leonard was a two-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to winning an NBA championship and NBA Finals MVP in 2014. The two sides have had tumultuous relationship in the past year, as Leonard played just nine games last season due to a quad injury. The once-again teammates have shared the floor in Drew League action this summer, and will look to improve on their rather ineffectual run with the Raptors back in 2013 this upcoming season as Spurs.

Leonard, through his camp, publicly announced that Los Angeles is his preferred destination with the Lakers as his priority.

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