Kawhi thanks SA in 1st statement since trade

NBA trade news Jimmy Butler has been linked with the Lakers

NBA trade news Jimmy Butler has been linked with the Lakers

New NBA jerseys for newly acquired Toronto Raptors player Kawhi Leonard hang in the Real Sports Apparel store at the Scotiabank Arena, in Toronto, Friday July 20, 2018.

Leonard also thanked his former teammates, Gregg Popovich and Spurs fans in the letter, and said he'll "never forget what we have shared and accomplished together".

It's interesting to note 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.

Leonard popped up in Toronto to take a picture with Masai Ujiri after the trade was done and talk to the Raptors brass about playing for the team, but still avoided offering any public statements as Ujiri held the trade press conference alone.

"I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying to figure out the right things to say, and it comes down to two simple word: THANK YOU!"

There have been multiple reports as to how Leonard received the trade to the Raptors, ranging from having no desire to play in Toronto to being excited about the move and potentially being open to to sticking around long-term.




Addressed to "San Antonio", Leonard thanked the Spurs' organization, coaching staff, teammates, and fans for their support during his seven years with the franchise.

Spurs doctors had cleared Leonard to return to play last season, but he sought second opinions and did not return, making his health a question mark following the trade.

Leonard leaves the Spurs with career averages of 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

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.

THANK YOU Pop I'll always be grateful for my growth under your guidance.

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