Raptors become favorite to acquire Kawhi Leonard from Spurs

Rumors surface of Toronto Raptors interest in trading for Leonard

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SAN ANTONIO – A new suitor has emerged in the Kawhi Leonard trade sweepstakes.

The Toronto Raptors have become the even money favorites to land Leonard from the Spurs, according to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas.

The Spurs are listed as the second team Leonard will likely play for next season followed by the Lakers and Clippers.

Reports of Toronto as a possible trade partner with San Antonio began to surface earlier in the week.

Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post wrote on Monday that the Raptors have generated a buzz surrounding Leonard at the NBA Summer League in Vegas.

With LeBron James out of the Eastern Conference, it makes sense Toronto would seriously consider making a move for Leonard.

Toronto is believed to be the third best team in the conference behind Boston and Philadelphia.

Guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have been mentioned as players in a potential deal.

DeRozan will be 29 in August, but is coming off another All-Star season. He averaged 23 points and 5.2 assists per game last season and is under contract for the next two campaigns, according to SportTrac.

In order to make the DeRozan deal work financially, the Spurs might have to move another player with a big contract such as Patty Mills or Danny Green.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported July 5 on a possible Spurs-Leonard deal surrounding DeRozan as well with possibly rookie OG Anunoby and a first-round pick attached. 

Until this week, the favorites to acquire Leonard had been the Lakers and Sixers, but the Spurs reportedly have asked for too much in return.

Leonard's group has stated he would only want to re-sign next summer with a team from the Los Angeles area, which continues to dissuade teams from putting together an attractive package with multiple assets for the Spurs.

The Spurs have said their priority is to mend fences with their disgruntled all-star, but it remains a mystery when the Leonard saga will come to an end.

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