On July 18th the San Antonio Spurs Agreed to a trade from the Raptors to send 2x Kia NBA defensive player of the year and 2014 Finals MVP and Shooting guard Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors for 4x Allstar DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick.
After only playing 9 games in the 2017-2018 season due to a quad injury that was suffered before the season began, Kawhi voiced his frustrations with the organization and demanded a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the season. Knowing that Kawhi Leonard will become a free agent next summer and has already stated what team he wants to play for many teams backed away from going into negations with the Spurs. There still were teams interested in negotiating though, since Kawhi announced he wanted to be traded big names such as Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard , and even young and up and coming superstars such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma began to be brought up in trade talks with the Spurs.
On July 16th unexpected talks between the Raptors and Spurs began who many believed would have been centered around teaming up DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard. No-one expected the Raptors to be negotiating a trade to send away a guy in DeMar DeRozan who just two summers ago took an 18 Million dollar pay cut to return to the Raptors instead of going back home and playing for the Los Angeles Lakers because he said he wanted to stay loyal to the Raptors Organization and bring a championship up north one day.
General Manager of the Raptors Masai Ujiri had other plans and when the opportunity presented itself to trade the 9 year Raptor who led the once forgotten about organization up North to multiple Eastern Conference Championships for a guy in Kawhi Leonard he jumped right on it. The unexpected trade received an instant reaction from not only Fans of the NBA but also players, and also one Big Raptor Fan “The 6 God” Drake who both thanked his friend DeRozan and welcomed Leonard to Toronto.
DeRozan even took to social media himself saying “Be told one thing & the outcome another. Cant trust em. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing” shortly before removing all posts from his instagram account. Easy to tell DeRozan is upset about being traded by the organization he stayed loyal to through both its ups and downs.
DeRozan was not the only player upset , multiple reports came out after the trade was made saying that Kawhi Leonard is unhappy about the trade to the Raptors and is willing to sit out the entire 2018-2019 season rather then play in Toronto. This will become a big problem for the Raptors if Leonard decides to sit out because with the departure of seems to be Raptors “kryptonite” LeBron James in Cleveland who’s heading to the Western Conference to join the LakeShow in Los Angeles, the Raptors seem to be a favorite to win the Eastern Conference and have a potentially to make it to the NBA finals this upcoming season.
Head Coach of the Spurs Gregg Popovich in an interview stated how he feels it is time to move on and that he is excited to coach a player in DeMar DeRozan and get to work with his team. While there are still many questions to be answered Up North in Toronto, the Spurs still seem to have a very competitive roster even after the trade and are prepared to compete for a championship this season along side their hall of fame coach. Do You think Leonard will suite up for the Raptors this season? Which team will have the better record this up and coming season?
One of the biggest headlines this offseason has been Kawhi Leonard and his frustration with the San Antonio Spurs. Immediately when the NBA season was over Kawhi voiced his frustrations and informed both management and head coach Gregg Popovich that he would like to move on from the organization and be traded preferably to the Los Angeles Lakers. Once alerted by Kawhi, Spurs general Manager R.C. Buford began working the phones to see what deals he could get for their 2 time both Kia defensive player of the year and all star, and once finals MVP.
Buford was not shy to inform teams interested in Leonard that the Spurs were not just giving him away for anything. Trade talks began with teams such as the Lakers, Blazers, 76ers and even the Celtics at one point in time but no deal was ever made with the teams. After a rejected trade from the Lakers to grant Leonard’s wish of playing in Los Angeles and land the Spurs more young talent to go along side of second year point guard Dejounte Murray. Spurs notified the league that they were looking to trade Leonard to an Eastern Conference team and not a team along side of them in the Western Conference.
After a standoff to see what team would offer the most assets for Leonard, on July 16th Raptors and Spurs began to engage in serious trade conversation and on July 18th finalized a deal to send Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Damar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl , and a protected first round pick in 2019. Do you believe that this Trade now makes the Toronto Raptors a front runner in the east ?
After the signing of 14 time NBA Champ and 3 time Champ LeBron James the Los Angeles Lakers summer 2018 seemed to not be able to get too much better. Josh Hart thought otherwise and went to Las Vegas Summer league and seemed absolutely unstoppable.
The former University of Villanova Wildcat national champ led the Lakers in his 6 games of play averaging 24.2 Points per game , 5.2 rebounds per game, and 1.5 steals in while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. With multiple stellar performances such as on July 10th when Hart shredded the New York Knicks for scoring 27 points while adding in 6 rebounds, 3 assists , and 3 steals, and the performance that really sealed the deal to allow Hart to take home MVP honors his semi finals performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers where he went completely went off and recorded 37 points and 9 rebounds on the night to lead his squad into the championship. Hart received his MVP award Tuesday night before his teams championship matchup against the Portland Trailblazers and also even received a congratulatory shoutout from the newest Laker in town LeBron James via twitter.
Hart and his Lakers summer squad went on to lose the Summer League Championship to the Portland Trailblazers 91-73. It was a bad overall night for Hart only scoring 12 points on 3 for 12 shooting from the field, and being ejected late in the game for an altercation with the referees. Although he may have struggled in the biggest game of summer league him and the Lakers still have nothing to hang their head about. Now with summer camp up next Hart hopes to keep this same energy and scoring mentality with him so that he can make a bigger impact on his team this season. What do you think Josh Hart will average this season for the Lakers ?
On Monday Night the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavailers Summer League squads took the floor and put on an absolute show in a double overtime thriller ending in a final score of 112-109 with the Lakers on top to advance to the Las Vegas Summer League championship on Tuesday night. Despite the loss for the Cavaliers this organization has nothing to hang their head about, because their lottery pick out of The University of Alabama Collin “The Youngbull” Sexton showed why he takes on the nickname “The Youngbull” and that he is ready to become the new face of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here’s a clip from the end of regulation when “The YoungBull” took on the challenge of defending the Lakers Josh Hart who scorched the Cavaliers and finished with a game high 37 points and 9 rebounds for the final shot.
Just looking at Sextons face on this play you can see the toughness, fire, and passion that he brings to the game, which is why he takes on the name “The Youngbull”. All night Sexton was doing everything possible to put his team in the position to win whether it was scoring, assisting, or defending. Sexton was not shy from the big moment at in the double overtime thriller knocking down big time shots from all over the floor for his Cavaliers squad. In a post game interview Josh Hart tipped his hat and emphasized how tough and relentless Sexton is as a player. Collin ended the game with 27 points to close out his terrific summer league, despite the departure of LeBron James this offseason the Cavaliers organization and fanbase defiantly has something to look forward to this season in Collin “The YoungBull” Sexton.
Sunday night before the tip-off of the quarterfinal summer league matchup between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, the Lakers newest and Biggest Offseason addition LeBron James showed up to cheer his new teammates on. This summer League event was the first appearance made by LeBron since agreeing to a 4 year $153 Million Contract with the Los Angeles Lakers while being on a family Caribbean Vacation. The young Lakers summer League squad went on and put on an absolute show for the King by beating the Pistons 101-78 and being led by Rookie from Kansas Svi Mykhailiuk who led Laker scorers with 19 points and second year Laker from Villanova Josh Hart who tallied in 18 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds. The Lakers will advance to the semi final round where they will play against LeBron’s former organization the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday July 16th led by #8 overall selection Collin “The Youngbull” Sexton on ESPN 2 at 8:30 Pm.
NBA Summer league kicked off last week in Las Vegas and just like any other year fans were excited to see their favorite franchises top draft picks finally out there in action. Similar to the 2004 draft class who highlighted NBA potential hall of famers such as Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony this 2018 daft class was believed to have just as many franchise changing players if not more. The players finally took the court and instantly shined Deandre Ayton showed signs of both greatness and why he was the first pick in the NBA draft averaging 16 PPG and 11 RPG , and even in an interview when asked what were his expectations for
the 2018-2019 NBA season was not shy to state how he wants to be the first rookie since Blake Griffin in 2011 to play in the all-star game. Ayton was not the only big guy out there doing damage in Vegas these past few weeks, #2 pick Marvin Bagley and #4 pick Jaren Jackson Jr. also had very big performances. Bagley went on to average 10.4 PPG and 5.8 RPG before being sidelined by a bruised pelvic bone in the Kings 71-63 loss to the Phoenix Suns after scoring 15 points in that game. Jackson Jr has helped his team reach the Las Vegas Summer League semi finals while averaging 12.8 PPG and 6.6 RPG. Jackson has shown signs of both being a defensive presence on one end and the ability to stretch the floor at the other end. While the big fellas are down low doing damage you also have another top 5 pick in Trae Young who was selected by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to the Hawks for Real Madrid star Luka Doncic who did not make an appearance in summer league. Young had a lot of eyes on him in both college and coming into the NBA because of his long range shooting ability and his ability to get other players involved in the game. Instant Stephan Curry comparison when watching Trae Young play and after facing early struggles in summer league Young went on to average 15.1 PPG and 5.7 APG during summer league and also showed flashes of why the Steph Curry comparison is made so often. After watching these 4 top 5 draft picks these fast few weeks in summer league and the NBA season slowly approaching us it leaves us with one question; Which one of these Young stars will Have the best rookie season ?
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