Kawhi Leonard is officially a member of the Toronto Raptors after passing his physical with the team, according to a report by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Tuesday night.
The report also says that two other players in the trade, Danny Green (also going to Toronto) and San Antonio-bound DeMar DeRozan, also passed their physicals.
The Spurs also received Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round draft pick in the deal.
Green disclosed in his debut podcast earlier in the day that he played the end of the season on a torn groin which went undetected by the Spurs. But, he added, the club “did a great job” and “did everything they could” when it learned of the injury.
That news is particularly noteworthy given that one of the big reasons for Leonard’s ultimate departure was the year-long saga about his injured quad, suffered during the 2017 postseason. He played in only nine games last season, seeking additional opinions on the injury after the Spurs’ medical staff cleared him to play.
“I get an MRI the next day,” Green said of the injury suffered Dec. 8 against Boston. “(It says) slight strain, take a couple weeks off. So we do the rehab, do everything we’re supposed to do. After some time, it healed. I tried to play again. Certain days, I’d have bad days. Some days would be good. I’d feel it. My agent (Joe Branch) said, ‘Maybe we should get a second opinion.’ I didn’t want to because I have full faith and believe in the Spurs’ staff. They’ve always been great to me. They’ve always done right by me. They’ve always done a hell of a job.”
ESPN also reported Tuesday night that Leonard won’t attend coach Gregg Popovich’s Team USA minicamp this week in Las Vegas. Popovich, the Spurs’ head coach, openly expressed his exasperation with Leonard last season during the forward’s protracted injury absence.
Leonard is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in July 2019. With Leonard playing this season with Toronto, the Raptors would have the advantage of being able to pay $49 million more in a max deal than other suitors, such as the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles and other teams with cap space could offer four years at $141 million; Toronto can reach five years, $190 million.
Leonard spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Spurs, appearing in a total of 407 games and averaging 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and the 2014 NBA Finals MVP.
—Field Level Media