Report: Kawhi Leonard Trade to Raptors Official After Passed Physical

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2018, file photo, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves the ball up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, in San Antonio. General manager R.C. Buford acknowledges star forward Kawhi Leonard is unhappy with the Spurs. He remains optimistic the relationship can be salvaged. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Kawhi Leonard is officially a Toronto Raptor. 

According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, Leonard passed his physical Tuesday to finalize his move north of the border. 

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year missed 73 games last season because of a nagging quad injury. 

Speaking to reporters July 20, Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri said Toronto wouldn't have been able to swing a deal for Leonard if there had not been uncertainty surrounding his health. 

"Without the medical drama, you have no chance to talk to a player like this," he stated, according to the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps. "He would still be in San Antonio."

The move, which cost the Raptors DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a top-20 protected 2019 first-round pick, also carries risk because Leonard is in the final year of his deal. 

Citing a source, Turner Sports' David Aldridge reported the Raptors will have "a very tough sell" on their hands if they want to convince Leonard he should extend his stay in Toronto. 

However, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Mark Zeigler provided a contrasting view: "Here's what someone who knows Leonard as well as anybody told me privately: 'He's going to fall in love with Torontoit's going to happen. He's not going to leave, I'm telling you.'"

If Leonard operates at full strength this season, he will help the Raptors contend for an Eastern Conference title alongside the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers

During his last healthy campaign, Leonard averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game on 48.5 percent shooting from the field, including 38.0 percent from three.