All-Star Kawhi Leonard’s return to San Antonio next season as a Toronto Raptor will be Jan. 3.
Leonard was traded to Toronto on July 18 in a deal for DeMar Derozan after seven years with the Spurs and a fallout with the organization.
Leonard became uncomfortable with the Spurs last season because of an overall mistrust stemming from the handling of his quadriceps injury, leading to his desire to be traded.
Leonard played just nine games in 2017-18 because of the injury and a failure to see eye-to-eye with the organization.
Along with adding Leonard, the Raptors — who are expected to contend in the Eastern Conference — retained guard Fred VanVleet and signed Greg Monroe in free agency.
The Spurs lost Tony Parker and Kyle Anderson in free agency, but retained Rudy Gay and Bryn Forbes, and added veteran guard Marco Belinelli.
Leonard, 27, is a two-time All-Star and led the Spurs to the 2014 championship. He’s under contract for two more seasons and is owed $41.4 million, but has a player option for 2019-20. Leonard was drafted 15th overall in 2011 and when healthy is regarded as the league’s best two-way player. His finest season was in 2016-17, when Leonard averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists and shot 38 percent from 3-point range.
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